Tick Bite? Testing for up to 100 Arachnids Available Through State Challenge Grant

tick removal
Removing a tick for testing (c) www.leadingahealthylifestyle.com

Bedford, in conjunction with 31 other partner towns, will benefit from a  $111,300 Patrick Administration Community Innovation Challenge (CIC) grant program through the Board of Health.

If you should find a tick biting you and want to have it tested, carefully remove it using tweezers and place it in a sealable plastic bag. The lab can analyze a tick submitted in almost any condition. Visit www.TickReport.com, complete an online submittal form, write the order number provided on the plastic bag, and send it in an envelope with the tick to the address indicated on the website.

Residents of partner communities will be offered free testing for up to 100 ticks per community on a first come- first served basis. If you do not live in a partner town and still wish to have your tick tested, you can do so for a small fee. If you have questions or want to find out more, contact your local Board of Health.

The goal of the CIC program is to provide an opportunity for towns and regions across Massachusetts to form new partnerships and develop strategies to further common goals, in this case, identifying the prevalence of tick bites and the presence of pathogens that cause tick-borne disease. The grant funds the participation of the towns in a Tick-Borne Disease Network (TBDN) established by the Laboratory of Medical Zoology at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The purpose of the CIC-funded project is to gather data on ticks in the 32 partner towns by providing prepaid testing of up to ticks submitted by residents.

The partner communities are Acton, Barnstable, Bedford, Bourne, Brewster, Buckland, Carlisle, Charlemont, Chatham, Concord, Conway, Deerfield, Dennis, Eastham, Falmouth, Gill, Harwich, Hawley, Heath, Leyden, Lincoln, Mashpee, Monroe, Nantucket, Orleans, Provincetown, Sandwich, Shelburne, Truro, Wellfleet, Winchester, and Yarmouth. The Laboratory of Medical Zoology (LMZ) at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst conducts the testing and provides analytical services.

Thanks to the CIC grant, the LMZ will test 100 ticks from each partner town free of charge to the residents who send them in using the submittal protocols found at www.TickReport.com. The ticks will be tested for three common pathogens, Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme), Anaplasma phagocytophilium, and Babesia microti, and the results will be provided to residents to share with their medical provider. The findings of the testing are anonymous and help local and state agencies build a stronger surveillance database for informing public health disease prevention programs and tracking tick-borne disease. Recent data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Surveillance show that confirmed cases of Lyme disease in Massachusetts have increased significantly in recent years.

If you should find a tick biting you and want to have it tested, carefully remove it using tweezers and place it in a sealable plastic bag. The lab can analyze a tick submitted in almost any condition. Visit www.TickReport.com, complete an online submittal form, write the order number provided on the plastic bag, and send it in an envelope with the tick to the address indicated on the website.

Residents of partner communities will be offered free testing for up to 100 ticks per community on a first come- first served basis. If you do not live in a partner town and still wish to have your tick tested, you can do so for a small fee. If you have questions or want to find out more, contact your local Board of Health.


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Clark Heintz
Clark Heintz
8 years ago

Excellent service to keep folks aware of this insidious pest.

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