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May 23, 2024 11:27 am

Local News

Lone Star Tick Detected in Kalamazoo County

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According to a county press release,

During a routine tick drag on May 20, 2022, a Lone Star Tick was identified in Kalamazoo County. These tick drags are being performed this summer by Environmental Health to capture and identify blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) which are known to transmit Lyme disease. 

Lone Star Ticks (Amblyomma americanum) are a tick that has a distinctive white “Lone Star” marking on its back. This tick is typically located in the eastern, southeastern, and south-central portions of the United States but is known to occur in southern Michigan and has also been identified in the past few years in other counties throughout Michigan. It will readily bite people and animals and is a vector of human ehrlichiosis, tularemia, Heartland virus, Bourbon virus, and Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI). 

This tick is not known to be a vector of Lyme disease but it is known to cause AlphaGal syndrome which is an allergic reaction associated with the consumption of red (mammalian) meat. 

“Preventing tick bites is essential to preventing tick-borne disease, including using insect repellant with DEET and performing tick checks on yourself, children, and pets,” says Lucus Pols, Environmental Health Division Chief. 

Environmental Health will continue to perform vector-disease surveillance in Kalamazoo County, including tick drags and mosquito trapping.