Officials: New tick species spotted in Fairfield County

Posted: Updated:
NEW HAVEN -

State health officials warned the public Tuesday of a new species of tick spotted in Fairfield County.

They say that the east Asian longhorned tick, bit a child in Fairfield County in July.

The Connecticut state tick lab spent weeks testing the tick, which came back disease-free.

Researchers say the longhorned tick could carry everything from Lyme disease to spotted fever since it's new to Connecticut.

They also say the tick population in the state has exploded, with it peaking in mid-November.

"Some of those disease agents could be serious diseases, but we don't know exactly what disease agent this tick will transmit," says Dr. Goudarz Molaei, of the the CT Agricultural Experiment Station.

Researchers say that ticks appear year round due to global warming and people moving into deer habitats.

The lab normally tests about 3,000 ticks a year. This year, they've tested 4,000 ticks.

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