A mosquito lurks, eager to score some Halloween candy.
Ben de la Cruz/NPR
October 29, 2015 It's a bloodsucking creature. But it's not a vampire. Or a vampire bat. Here's a look at the eight deadliest animals on Earth (and a costume primer).
The lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum) is spreading north, carrying bacteria with it.
October 28, 2015 An uptick in cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever might actually be due to a newer tick-borne bacterium. It looks like it's causing milder infections — and a lot of confusion.
Scientists think the lone star tick (center) likely transmits Heartland disease to people. And the virus probably also circulates in deer and coyotes.
iStockphoto; CDC; iStockphoto
September 16, 2015 The Heartland virus was considered rare. Scientists now say they've found signs of it circulating in animals across the Midwest, New England and the South. They think human cases have been missed.
An adult deer tick, or Ixodes scapularis. The taiga tick is nearly a clone — only a tick expert could tell the difference.
Courtesy of Graham Hickling
April 27, 2015 A goat is host to bacteria. A tick visits the goat, picks up bacteria and spreads them to a human. And the bacteria turn out to cause a previously undiscovered disease.
A harmful trio (from left): a deer tick, lone star tick and dog tick.
July 23, 2013 Last year, virologists traced the mysterious illness of two Missouri farmers to a virus never seen before. Now, scientists have found the so-called Heartland virus in ticks. The discovery means the U.S. has another tick-borne illness on its hands — and "another reason to avoid getting bit."
The Lone Star tick, common to the southeastern U.S., is responsible for inducing meat allergies in some people, scientists say.
CDC Public Health Image Library
November 27, 2012 The rare condition is starting to be seen outside of the Lone Star tick's known territory in the southeastern U.S. Scientists say this could be due to an expansion of tick territory or simply that people are being diagnosed after they leave the area.
Last year, Tom Mather caught 15,000 deer ticks in the woods of southern Rhode Island. "People really need to become tick literate," the University of Rhode Island researcher says.
Brian Mullen for NPR
November 27, 2012 A Rhode Island researcher is a master at collecting deer ticks where other people overlook them. He caught 15,000 of them last year, and his success is a sign of a growing problem. Tick-borne diseases are on the rise.
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As white-tailed deer have returned to New England in the past century, they've brought with them tick-borne parasites that cause human diseases.
November 12, 2012 Although Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne infection in New England, researchers find that babesiosis, a disease that mimics malaria, is catching up. The swelling population of white-tailed deer and the ticks that feed on their blood may be why.
This blacklegged tick, found in a Michigan forest, probably wouldn't mind you having her over for dinner.
Graham J. Hickling/University of Tennessee
February 1, 2012 Researchers counted more than 5,000 ticks to calculate the risk of Lyme disease in the Eastern U.S. Turns out the risk is high in the Northeast and nearly zero in the South.
Deer ticks like this one can spread a parasite that causes babesiosis. And infected people can spread it through blood donations.
September 9, 2011 There's no test for a malaria-like parasite that has sickened people after blood transfusions. A recent report of illnesses tied to donated blood demonstrates the need for an assay, an American Red Cross researcher says.
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