In a follow-up to a report in early December,  the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) has confirmed seven additional fever tick infested premises in Live Oak County since Nov. 30.

The additional premises were detected through systematic livestock and wildlife inspections conducted within the original Control Purpose Quarantine Area (CPQA), and the inspection of livestock moved to other premises as part of regular management practices.

Public domain image via Internet Archive Book Images
Public domain image via Internet Archive Book Images

As a result of detecting additional fever tick infested premises, the CPQA has expanded from approximately 12,587 acres on November 30, 2016, to 57,541 acres.

In addition to the Live Oak County CPQA, there are six other CPQAs located in portions of Jim Wells, Kleberg, Starr, Webb, Willacy and Zapata counties and one Temporary Preventative Quarantine Zone in Cameron County. There are approximately 541,462 acres under various types of fever tick quarantines outside the Permanent Quarantine Zone.

The TAHC continues to conduct epidemiological investigations related to the detection of fever ticks in the area, as well as ticks that may have been moved on cattle, horses, and exotic hoofstock shipped from infested premises.

Cattle Fever ticks, known scientifically as Rhipicephalus (formerly Boophilus) annulatus and R. microplus, are a significant threat to the United States cattle industry. These ticks are capable of carrying the protozoa, or microscopic parasites, Babesia bovis or B. bigemina, which cause the disease commonly known as cattle fever. The Babesia organism attacks and destroys red blood cells, causing acute anemia, high fever, and enlargement of the spleen and liver, ultimately resulting in death for up to 90 percent of susceptible naive cattle.