Ann Emerging Health Threat in Alaska
Description: The purpose is to expand surveillance for invasive ticks in Alaska, with a focus on dogs.
Background: There are native ticks in Alaska including species found on rabbits and squirrels. But the ticks typically associated with people, dogs and large mammals like deer and moose have fortunately never had an established population, until now. Ticks are now migrating to Alaska on pets, wildlife and people. With warming temperatures ticks that historically could not survive in Alaska, now can. With their arrival comes new health treats including lyme disease, rocky mountain spotted fever, and tularmia and Q fever. The American Dog Tick is now established in Alaska. Other ticks such as the Winter Tick may he here already or follow shortly. Winter ticks is established in elk in the Yukon Territory and can also be found in deer, moose, bears, coyotes, caribou, bison and sheep as well as dogs and horses.
Funding: open invitation
Partners: ADFG, ANTHC, One Health Group
Observing Guidance: Observers are asked to collect photographs of the tick as well as the location found if possible. You can do this by posting an observation at the LEO Network website or by using the LEO Reporter App. Tick Removal Using clean tweezers carefully grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull slowly upward, but try not to twist or crush the tick. If you were bitten, wash the area with soap and water. You may also disinfect the area with alcohol or hand sanitizer. Wash your hands with soap and water. Samples of ticks are also requested. Preservation place live ticks in a plastic bag or pill box and place in refrigerator. Label the time, date, and location (place / animal) where found. Dead ticks should be placed in a freezer. Lab Submission The sample can be submitted using the ADFG form Submitting samples for disease parasite investigations
Source Data: LEO Network Observations. ADFG Monitoring Tick Monitoring (requested)
Outputs: Mapping of tick locations. Seasonal trend and event tracking. Updates related to tick surveillance and health advisories. ANTHC and ADFG are resourced to perform analysis of ticks for infectious diseases. Project would provide feedback on surveillance results.
Project Updates: The recent emergence of mule deer to interior Alaska is raising new concerns about winter tick and the potential for a population establishing in Alaska, and presenting risks to moose and other wildlife populations. LEO Network asks assistance of hunters to remain watchful for ticks in harvested game and in pets. See the Yukon Territory Winter Tick site for more information.
ADFG Ticks in Alaska
ADN Exotic ticks appear to be establishing themselves in Alasksa
ADN Ticks burrow into Alaska and plan to stay