New Tickborne Diseases Courtesy of Migrating Birds

A study conducted by Uppsala University and other institutions in 2018 identified Alkhurma hemorrhagic fever virus being carried by migratory birds.  This disease is spreading from where it was first identified in Saudi Arabia.  This disease is similar to Ebola causing animals and people to develop high fever and bleed to death.  The ticks spreading this disease were recently found being carried by birds migrating from Africa to parts of Europe, including Turkey and Greece.  Alkhurma hemorrhagic fever is a potentially fatal disease for which there is no known treatment.

Many ticks from migratory birds are in the larvae or nymph stages, indicating they attached to the birds prior to the start of their migration.  Ticks carrying diseases into our country are not only dangerous to humans, they can also pose a risk to livestock and the entire farming industry as they have done to our southern neighbors.  As our weather warms, different species of ticks are capable of establishing themselves in our country and will not only come by the millions on migratory birds, they will also live in our hay fields.

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