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An engorged longhorned tick. Photo: Aukid Stock photo

A tick species new to the U.S., called the longhorned tick or Haemaphysalis longicornisa. has been found spreading along the East Coast, state and federal officials say.

Why it matters: They have the ability to carry serious diseases — sometimes ones causing death in other countries — but officials say there have been no reports of human infections in the U.S. yet, per the New York Times.

Four things to know about longhorned ticks:

  1. The first one was found in America last summer on a sheep in New Jersey, although how the tick got there remains unknown. Since then, they've been found in at least 7 states along the eastern seaboard: Arkansas, New York, West Virginia, New Jersey, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
  2. In its original home in Asia, the longhorned tick transmits a disease called severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) that kills 15% of its victims, NYT says. But New Zealand and Australia say the ticks don't appear to cause SFTS there — instead, the ticks have transmited babesiosis and theileriosis, which can be damaging for cattle but don't usually harm humans.
  3. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention operates a lab in Colorado with 10 live longhorned ticks that they hope to grow to maturity to test for further possible diseases. That will take about a year.
  4. Female longhorned ticks can reproduce asexually. After they feed, they can lay 2,000 eggs, which can swarm an animal, sucking enough blood to cause anemia or death, Business Insider reports. Young longhorned ticks are extremely small, and have been compared to a speck of dust or a poppy seed.

The big picture: Officials say they are keeping a watchful eye on this new species, particularly as it comes amid a concerning growth in other tick populations across the U.S., primarily due to warmer temperatures and a greater mobility of people and animals.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Economy & Business

The billionaire balloon

Data: World Inequality Report 2022; Chart: Axios Visuals

The super-rich are getting stupid rich: New data out today shows the share of global wealth held by the richest slice of humanity swelled by almost a full percentage point during the pandemic.

Driving the news: The top 0.01% of individuals now hold about 11% of the world's wealth, compared to just over 10% in 2020, according to the "World Inequality Report 2022," written by Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
1 hour ago - Health

Omicron gives a shot to boosters

Expand chart
Data: CDC; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Vaccination rates have ticked higher since the discovery of the Omicron variant, CDC data shows.

By the numbers: The seven-day average for vaccinations in the U.S. reached about 1.8 million on Monday, up from an average of about 1.3 million a month ago.

Scoop: Over 200 papers quietly sue Big Tech

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Newspapers all over the country have been quietly filing antitrust lawsuits against Google and Facebook for the past year, alleging the two firms monopolized the digital ad market for revenue that would otherwise go to local news. 

Why it matters: What started as a small-town effort to take a stand against Big Tech has turned into a national movement, with over 200 newspapers involved across dozens of states.