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Got a Tick? Get It Tested

Mon, 07/19/2021 - 16:58
A lone star tick, which can be a carrier of human ehrlichiosis and other infections, can be found in the eastern and southern U.S.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

In light of the threat posed by ticks, a significant problem on the East End, State University of New York health officials have reminded New Yorkers of the SUNY system’s free lab testing service for any ticks collected in the state.

Those interested can start with a form at to accompany any ticks that have been found on one's body. Detailed packing instructions for mailing ticks are also available online.

SUNY says ticks should ideally have been collected within 48 hours, either dead or alive, in a completely sealed plastic bag. Including a piece of damp paper towel — not soaking wet — is an important step because ticks that are dried or desiccated cannot be tested.

Lyme, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, deer tick virus, heartland virus, and Bourbon virus are among the pathogens that can be identified in the testing process.

The laboratory usually processes ticks within five to seven days of receipt, and results are then shared via email or using an assigned tick ID number in SUNY’s online results portal.

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