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Hemorrhagic Disease Found in U.S. Ticks

Posted on February 09 2015

A study of Lone Star Ticks indigenous to north central Florida has revealed that 10 percent of the population plays host to an arenavirus. This rare virus is typically found in areas of South America and Sub-Saharan Africa, so this discovery is interesting to researchers.


Recent years have resulted in increased tick populations across many areas of the United States affecting individuals and domesticated animals. This recent discovery of hemorrhagic disease in the tick population adds a layer of complexity to the risk.


Historically, the arenavirus(Tacaribe) is known to be carried and transmitted by rodents, and has occasionally found in bats. Ticks are not known to be a vehicle for carrying and transmitting the disease. At this point, researchers are not clear as to whether the virus can be transmitted to humans by ticks. Additionally, research needs to be performed identify the period in which the tick population began carrying the virus.


Tick removal devices and testing locations exist currently due to the risk of Lyme Disease often found among the tick population. However, the existence of the Tacaribe virus warrants further study.


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