New invasive tick concerns researchers

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Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 11:09 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Over at the University of South Carolina Dr. Kyndall Braumuller is an expert on how insect-borne diseases impact humans.

Dr. Kyndall Braumuller is a Vector Borne Disease Epidemiologist, at the University of South Carolina she says “We are interested in raising awareness for tick-borne diseases. We know mosquito-borne diseases are very important but here in South Carolina the majority of vector-borne diseases that are reported are tick-borne.”

Tick finding concerns SC researchers
Tick finding concerns SC researchers(Ty Wilson)

Experts say we should all be more vigilant.

Dr. Kyndall Braumuller says “Increased temperatures at a sooner date also for a longer period of time could mean ticks could start reproducing at an earlier time. And they could reproduce faster which means more ticks.”

Dr. Evan Dingle is an Urgent Care Physician at Lexington Medical Center, he has treated dozens of people suffering from tick bites.

Dr. Dingle says “Some of the illnesses a tick transmits in South Carolina can be fatal if untreated.”

Dr. Braumuller and other researchers were the first to find Asian Longhorned Ticks in the state.

Dr. Braumuller says “So we did find this Asian Longhorned Tick in Northern South Carolina. Now in its native range, it can transmit over 30 different pathogens to humans and animals. In the United States the ticks we are concerned about transmit 3 to 4 different pathogens. With this one here in the United States its more concerning for both humans and animals.”

In South Carolina, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is prevalent, not Lyme Disease. Symptoms for a tick bite are similar to the Flu.

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