Local Labs Begin to Test Ticks for Illnesses

May 30, 2018 06:04 PM

They are back and they are bloodthirsty.

At the Minnesota Department of Health, reports of tick activity are starting to pour in from around the state.


"Right now we are in our prime season for ticks," said MDH Epidemiologist Elizabeth Schiffman.

Tick-borne illnesses like Lyme Disease are on the rise in Minnesota. MDH reported 913 cases of Lyme Disease back in 2006. The number of cases rose to 1,305 by 2016.

RELATED: Cases of Tick-Related Disease On The Rise


That can mean concerns rise too.

Alex Lamkin with Any Lab Test Now in Plymouth has seen it.  Any Lab Test Now has always done blood tests for tick-borne illnesses. Now the company has even started to offer to test the ticks themselves. 

People can bring in ticks to determine the type and if the tick is a carrier of diseases. The disease test is $250, but Lamkin says he's starting to see customers who are willing to pay.

"I've had plenty of people who come in and say, 'I'm not sure if this was embedded, I'm not sure if it bit me,'" he said. "It's more for peace of mind than anything else."

RELATED: Minnesota to See Hungry Ticks Emerge in Warm Weather

But peace of mind comes in many different forms. And it's not always instant.

Schiffman still says to watch and wait for symptoms.

"That's the time you should watch for flu-like symptoms and rashes," he said That kind of thing.  If you don't have those symptoms, don't rush to the doctor."

Tick Bite Prevention

1. Walk in the center of trails where deer ticks could be present

2. Wear light-colored clothing to make ticks more visible

3. Tuck pants into socks or boots

4. Use repellent containing DEET or permthrin

5. Check pets for ticks


The information above is from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Lyme Disease Signs and Symptoms:

1. Distinctive rash

2. Fever

3. Chills


5.Muscle and joint pain

6. Fatigue

More Severe Signs and Symptoms: 

1. Multiple rashes

2. Facial paralysis 

3. Stiff neck

4. Weakness, numbness or pain in arms or legs

5. Irregular heartbeat 

6. Dizziness, feeling lightheaded or heart palpitations

7. Problems with the nervous system. 


The information above is from the Minnesota Department of Health.


Ellen Galles

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