Researchers have discovered a new species of tick. It could be very dangerous.

Researchers have discovered a new species of tick. It could be very dangerous.

The Swedish National Veterinary Institute has announced the discovery of a new species of exotic tick. Its natural habitat is not the north, but the south of Europe or the Middle East.

The SVA reports that the variegated sheep tick can carry dangerous diseases – including one that causes panic in people. It is carried by African Hyaloma ticks.

Better to be careful

Dermacentor marginatus is a new species of tick that lives in Iran or Kazakhstan, not necessarily Sweden, but the parasite was found in Stockholm. It is likely that it can transmit diseases such as the dangerous Crimean-Congo fever with an extremely severe course. No vaccine has been found for the virus to date, and treatment only involves alleviating symptoms, although there are reports of patients who have been helped by substances such as ribavirin. Antiviral medication sometimes reduces mortality, but it must be administered in the early phase of the disease.

Fortunately, the virus causing hemorrhagic fever was not found in the ticks that were brought to the laboratory. At this point, the parasite is being tested for the presence of other viruses and bacteria, such as those that cause Q fever. It causes high body temperature (even up to 40 degrees Celsius), chills and profuse sweating. This is accompanied by muscle and headache pain, as well as weakness of the body. Sometimes there is a cough or nausea. Very rarely, a chronic symptom is endocarditis.

Scientists point out that ongoing climate change, which is manifested by the increase in temperature all over the globe, including in Europe, means that Dermacentor marginatus may spread to areas where it has not previously occurred. Other factors, such as migrations of people or animals, are also taken into account.

In a press release, the SVA encourages residents to send in suspected ticks for testing. Beforehand, a photograph of the specimen must be sent to researchers via the website. Information about the occurrence of different species of the parasite will be provided in the form of a special map with markings. In the future, it will be possible to act appropriately if people or animals are infected in Sweden.

Hyalomma marginatum and rufipes in Germany

Recently, scientists from the University of Hohenheim and the Institute of Microbiology of the German Federal Armed Forces in Munich reported that they had found seven different specimens of tropical ticks, known as Hyalomma, in the northern region of Lower Saxony, as reported by Germany’s Deutsche Welle. Four of them were recognized without a shadow of a doubt as Hyalomma marginatum. The next one belongs to the species Hyalomma rufipes.

They can spread Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever. The risk of death among people who contract it ranges – depending on how developed health care is in a given country – from 10 to as much as 40 percent.

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