Take advantage of resources on ticks

With the outdoor season coming into full swing, tick awareness has become a necessity among outdoor enthusiasts.

Residents of Pennsylvania have at their disposal a free service that can provide you with information, if you find yourself or your canine to be the unlucky host of an engorging tick.

After a mountain bike ride last summer with my pup Cali, I removed three ticks from her and found none on myself.

The next day, I found a little bugger attached to my thigh.

This is where the free service to state residents comes in.

The Pennsylvania Tick Lab located at East Stroudsburg University runs the website www.tickcheck.com and offers a free lab analysis of the tick, letting you know before any symptoms could develop, the presence of nine different pathogens that the tick contains.

Visit the site, fill out the form, which asks things such as name, address, phone, email, location where you may have picked up the tick, and if it was attached to a human or a canine.

You are then given an order number. Print out the form, place the tick in a plastic bag and put it in an envelope and mail it in.

I sent it on a Monday and Friday, I received an email with the lab results that showed it was an adult female deer tick, unengorged with blood based on size and was attached for no more than seven hours.

My tick tested positive for Borrelia burgdorferi, Lyme Disease and Anaplasma phagocytophilum or anaplasmosis, another quite debilitating pathogen.

A call to my PCP at UPMC put me on the necessary meds as a precaution for infection.

Donald Tantius



Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *


Starting at $4.39/week.

Subscribe Today