The Tick Lab Does Not Offer Medical Advice
Understanding the results of your tick testThe testing of tick samples is intended to provide information on ticks in Maine and is not intended to be used in human health assessment or to be interpreted as a medical diagnosis. The Tick Lab tests ticks only and does not provide testing for human or animal samples. If you have been bitten by a tick, do not wait until tick testing results are available to consult with your doctor.
If a tick tests positive for an infection, it does not mean that the tick passed the infection to the person it fed upon. If a tick tests negative for infection, it does not mean that the person it fed upon is not at risk.
For more information on the details of our testing program please view our Frequently Asked Questions page and our Policies and Procedures page.
Contact us at .
How To Get A Tick Tested
Ticks can be tested dead or alive . If you have removed a tick and want to have it tested, you have two options:
- Store it on a damp paper towel or cotton swab in a sealed plastic vial or ziploc bag.
- Securely attach the tick with tape to a piece of paper.
If the tick is already dead, there is no need to keep it moist. DO NOT store the tick in alcohol as it may compromise the test results.
You may choose to save the tick for testing should you begin to experience symptoms, rather than have it tested immediately.
DO note the date and location of the tick bite. If possible you should record:
- Location where tick attached
- Location on body where tick was removed
- Any other details about physical symptoms or location where tick was encountered
If The C6 Test Is Positive What Is The Next Step
A positive C6 test means antibodies to C6 were found. The next step is to do a QC6 test, which determines if the levels of antibody are high enough to justify treatment. If the value of the QC6 is higher than 30 IU/mL and signs of illness are present, then antibiotic treatment should be considered. If the QC6 is less than 30 IU/mL and there are no signs of illness, then treatment may not be necessary.
In addition to doing the QC6 test, your veterinarian may want to take samples of blood and urine to assess kidney function and to look for protein in the urine. A positive test for protein in the urine could signal serious underlying kidney disease.
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Lyme Disease Treatment Options
Early detection and treatment of Lyme are crucial. Most Lyme disease infections clear up with the help of a course of antibiotics you can take at home.
In some cases, however, people who are treated with antibiotics may continue to experience symptoms. When this happens, its called chronic Lyme disease or post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome. Doctors may treat chronic Lyme disease with a continued course of antibiotics, but the treatment often also involves managing symptoms like pain and inflammation.
If youre experiencing symptoms of Lyme disease and think you may have been bitten by a tick and were in an area where it is common, seek medical care as soon as possible. If certain symptoms and risk factors are present, doctors will typically treat for Lyme disease without waiting for a test result.
Information On Submitting Ticks
Whomay submit a tick?
Ticks will be accepted only from residents ofConnecticut. Ticks should be submitted by residents to their municipal healthdepartments. The health departments will then submit ticks to us with a requestfor identification and/or testing for the causative agents for Lyme disease,anaplasmosis, and babesiosis.
Howto locate your local health department or district:
Contact information for your local healthdepartments can be found online at:CT Department ofPublic Health
Howmuch do you charge to test a tick?
Ticktesting is offered by The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station as apublic service and there is no fee for tick identification and/or testing. Municipalities or local health departments/districts may charge a nominalfee for handling and mailing.
Whatinformation should be submitted with the tick?
The CAES Tick Submission Form should be completelyfilled out and packaged along with your tick. Please read the entire formcarefully to ensure you are providing the proper information. Please leave anote if you are submitting more than one tick with a single submission form.
The form can be filled out and printed in your internet browser and isavailable here:
Howshould ticks be prepared for sending?
Preparing the tick:
Preparing the envelope:
Whereshould tick samples be sent?
If you are unable to send the tick through yourlocal health department, please submit samples directly to:
Do all ticks submitted get tested for Lyme disease?
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Where Blacklegged Ticks Live
We continue to track where infected and uninfected blacklegged ticks are being found.
Public Health Ontarios Lyme disease page has a map that shows areas in Ontario where they estimate you are more likely to find blacklegged ticks.
Blacklegged ticks are spreading to new areas of the province because of climate change. They can also spread by traveling on birds and deer. While the probability is low, it is possible to find an infected tick almost anywhere in Ontario.
Ticks are most active in spring and summer, but can be found at any time of the year when the temperature is above freezing.
Tick Testing Organizationswhere To Get The Tick Tested
There are many places to get a tick tested. You may go through your health provider or you may choose an independent laboratory. In addition, many state and local health departments offer tick testing. Depending on where testing is done, these tick tests may check for other tick-borne diseases besides Lyme.
The following is a partial list of independent laboratories that do tick testing. Most offer mail-based service if you are not local. Please contact the Labs directly for more information.
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Cdc Supports The Development Of New Tests
New tests may be developed as alternatives to one or both steps of the two-step process. Before CDC will recommend new tests, they must be cleared by the Food and Drug Administration . For more details, see: Recommendations for Test Performance and Interpretation from the Second National Conference on Serologic Diagnosis of Lyme Disease.
What Can I Do To Protect Myself
- Use insect repellent:
Safe when used in correct concentrations, depending on the users age.
6 months to 2 years: up to 10%, dont apply more than once a day.
2 to 12 years: up to 10% can reapply up to three times daily.
12+ years: up to 30%.
NOTE:Less than 6 months: dont use DEET products.Less than 12 years: dont use DEET daily for more than a month.
Should not be used on children younger than 6 months old.
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Tick Identification And Testing Locations
The following organizations, listed alphabetically, do offer tick identification and/or testing services for a fee.The listing of these organizations does not constitute an endorsement by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health of the organization, or information, products, or services provided, and none should be inferred. This list is provided as a guide to tick identification and/or testing services available for Massachusetts’ residents.This list may not be comprehensive and the contact and price information may change at any time. The information was up-to-date as of Any questions people have about situations that may affect their health should be directed to their health care provider.
Lyme Disease Diagnosis And Laboratory Testing
Lyme disease is diagnosed based on the presence of symptoms, a physical exam, the possibility of exposure to infected ticks and, if necessary, laboratory testing. If your health care provider suspects Lyme disease, you may be asked to provide a blood sample for testing.
Public health and laboratory experts in Canada, the United States and worldwide support the 2-step testing used in Alberta as the best laboratory method for supporting the diagnosis of Lyme disease. These high standards help protect individuals from misleading false-positive results and unnecessary treatments.
In Alberta, laboratory testing for the first step is done by the Provincial Laboratory for Public Health. The second verification step is done by the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg to reduce the chances of false-positive results.
The Alberta government advises against the use of laboratory testing offered by some private laboratories outside of Canada. Some of these laboratories use non-standardized testing methods. These methods may report a higher number of false-positive results.
False positives can result in misdiagnosis that can lead to a delay in finding the actual cause of an individuals illness, as well as unnecessary, expensive and sometimes harmful treatments.
A 2014 study found that one alternate United States laboratory had incorrectly diagnosed Lyme disease in up to 57% of healthy people who did not have Lyme disease.
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Tick Removal And Testing
A tool to assist people in removing attached ticks and seeking health care, if appropriate, after a tick bite.
If you find a tick attached to your skin, simply remove the tick as soon as possible. There are several tick removal devices on the market, but a plain set of fine-tipped tweezers works very well.
What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
According to the Mayo Clinic, the early signs and symptoms of Lyme disease include the following:
The Mayo Clinic also states that when the disease is not treated quickly, new symptoms can crop up in the following weeks or months, including:
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What Do The Results Mean
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a two-test process of your sample:
- If your first test result is negative for Lyme disease, you don’t need any more testing.
- If your first result is positive for Lyme disease, your blood will get a second test.
- If both results are positive for Lyme disease and you also have symptoms of infection, you probably have Lyme disease.
Positive results don’t always mean a Lyme disease diagnosis. In some cases, you can have a positive result but not have an infection. Positive results may also mean you have an autoimmune disease, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
If your lumbar puncture results are positive, it may mean you have Lyme disease, but you might need more tests to confirm a diagnosis.
If your health care provider thinks you have Lyme disease, he or she will prescribe antibiotic treatment. Most people who are treated with antibiotics in the early stage of disease will make a complete recovery.
Key Points To Remember
- Most Lyme disease tests are designed to detect antibodies made by the body in response to infection.
- Antibodies can take several weeks to develop, so patients may test negative if infected only recently.
- Antibodies normally persist in the blood for months or even years after the infection is gone therefore, the test cannot be used to determine cure.
- Infection with other diseases, including some tickborne diseases, or some viral, bacterial, or autoimmune diseases, can result in false positive test results.
- Some tests give results for two types of antibody, IgM and IgG. Positive IgM results should be disregarded if the patient has been ill for more than 30 days.
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What Do Testing Kits Typically Include
Depending on the method of collection, testing kits may include:
- a device to collect the blood, urine, or saliva sample
- a container to ship the sample back to the lab
- a shipping label
Some kits come with a bandage, wipes, and a biohazard bag. Kits may contain extras such as Styrofoam holders, labels, or tubes with varying solutions inside.
What Are The Symptoms Of Tick Bites
The Mayo Clinic notes that the majority of tick bites are painless. The symptoms include redness, swelling and a sore on the skin.
If youre bitten by a tick, youll need to carefully remove it as soon as you can, grasping it by the head with tweezers and gently pulling in a slow and steady upward motion. Take care not to squeeze or twist the tick, and dont handle it with bare hands.
If you can, seal the tick in a container and place it in the freezer. If you develop symptoms, this will help the doctor identify the tick that bit you. After youve removed the tick, wash your hands and the area where you were bitten with warm water, soap, rubbing alcohol or an iodine scrub.
Do keep in mind that there are several tick-borne diseases, so the Mayo Clinic does state you should call your doctor if:
And if you experience a severe headache, difficulty breathing, paralysis or heart palpitations, the Mayo Clinic recommends calling 911 or your local emergency number.
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Treatment Of The Disease
Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics prescribed by a doctor. The nature and duration of the treatment depends on the stage of infection and symptoms.
People who are treated usually experience a quick and full recovery from the disease. Some, however, may have symptoms for several months after the treatment.
If You Find A Tick Along For The Ride Heres What You Need To Do
Use thin tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible. Pull the tick straight upward with steady even pressure to remove the tick with the mouthparts intact. Squeezing the tick will not increase the risk of infection. Adult ticks are a lot more difficult to remove intact. If the mouthparts break off, the chance of getting Lyme disease is the same as if you hadnt removed the tick at all. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water. Watch for signs and symptoms of Lyme disease for up to 30 days.
See your doctor within 72 hours of the tick removal and if the tick removed was swollen. You may benefit from preventive antibiotics. This is especially important if you live in an area where deer ticks are common.
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Treatment Following A Tick Bite
- In some circumstances, a single dose of antibiotic given within 72 hours of a tick bite might prevent the development of Lyme disease. Several criteria must be met:
- The tick must be identified as the blacklegged tick .
- The tick must have been attached for at least 36 hours .
- The tick bite occurred in a highly endemic area
Can Infection Be Spread Directly From One Dog To Another Dog Or From My Dog To My Family
Direct spread of Lyme disease from one dog to another dog has not been reported, even when infected and uninfected dogs have lived together for long periods.
Spread of Lyme disease from dogs to people has not been reported either, but people are equally at risk for Lyme disease if they are bitten by an infected tick.
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What To Do With Removed Ticks
Put the tick in a sealable plastic bag or container such as a pill bottle. Record the date and location of the bite, as well as the part of your body where you were bitten.
If you see your health care provider, bring:
- a photo of the tick or
- the tick in a sealed bag or container
Your health care provider may be able to help identify the type of tick that bit you.
Lyme Disease And Deer Ticks: How To Avoid Getting Bitten And How To Remove Them
May 4, 2022
Ticks can ruin outdoor fun faster than ants at a picnic. That being said, if you’re outside hiking or just walking around in your backyard, chances are you might be exposing yourself to ticks here in the New England area. Connecticut is notorious for having deer ticks that carry Lyme disease. These little buggers are not only small and sneaky, but if they latch onto you and are undetected for over 36-48 hours then youre at risk for contracting Lyme disease.
For this reason, AFC Urgent Care Torrington is here to help inform you about deer ticks, Lyme Disease and how to protect you and your family so you can enjoy the outdoors this upcoming summer.
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