Ticks are nasty creatures at the best of times. In Denmark the blood-sucking insects carry dangerous bacteria such as Borrelia, which causes Lyme disease.
But now the monster tick, Hyalomma marginatum, looks to be closing in on Denmark following seven separate finds in Germany just over 300 km from the Danish border.
“That kind of tick can easily turn up in Denmark. They enter the country attached to animals and birds. I don’t think we need to be nervous about it though, as we are familiar with the diseases they carry. But we are aware of it,” Karen Angeliki Krogfelt, a professor at the State Serum Institute, told BT tabloid.
Global warming impact
The Hyalomma marginatum tick is up to five times larger than the ticks normally seen in northern Europe. It is known to carry the bacteria that causes typhus fever (10-20 percent mortality rate), as well as the one that causes the even more deadly Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (30-40 percent mortality rate).
The tick is usually found in Africa and Asia, but it has recently seen a surge in parts of Europe – including Russia and Turkey.
Experts suggest the ticks have made their way up north due to global warming – another tick, the Ixodes inopinatus, has already spread to Denmark from the Mediterranean region.