Melinda Fawver

The New York State Departments of Health and Agriculture & Markets are cautioning state residents, visitors and farmers about the continued importance of protecting against ticks, as a new species has been found in New York. The "longhorned tick" was recently discovered in Westchester County.

This tick has transmitted disease to humans in other parts of the world, but more research is needed to determine if that can happen in the U.S. The Department of Health says regardless, New Yorkers should continue to protect themselves, children and pets against ticks and tick borne diseases that are present here.

The longhorn tick is of special concern for farmers as it poses a threat to livestock. They urge farmers to continue to work with their veterinarians to check animals, especially cattle, sheep and horses, for tick exposure and to ensure their parasite control plans are up to date and effective.  Symptoms in cattle include fever, lack of appetite, dehydration, weakness and labored breathing.

The longhorned tick is not native to the U.S., however they have been found recently in New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, and now New York.

For more information, contact the New York State Department of Health at 518-457-3502.  Remember, if you suspect you or a loved one has been bitten b y a tick and develop a rash or flu like symptoms, contact a health care provider immediately.