The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating a tick that is spreading widely across the US. So far, nine states have reported finding the Asian longhorned tick, which carries a variety of diseases. Here is what you need to know about the Asian longhorned tick. 

New Jersey was the first state to report an Asian longhorned tick. The first tick found was on a dog in 2013 and more recently in August 2017 on a sheep. Since then, eight other states have reported finding the tick on animals, people, and in environmental samples: Arkansas, Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia, according to the USA Today.

What's scary about this tick is how much we DON'T know. Health officials do not know whether the longhorned tick is capable of transmitting Lyme disease, but in Asia according to Time.com, it has spread other serious diseases such as SFTS virus and the pathogen that causes Japanese spotted fever, along with many diseases in animals.

While it's not tick season yet here in Minnesota the CDC is letting people know that there are some ways to help prevent tick bites. You should follow the same practices you already use to prevent tick bites from other types of ticks, including wearing tick repellant on skin and clothing, manually checking for ticks and showering soon after being outdoors.

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