UMass lab steps up tick testing efforts

  • Photo courtesy state Department of Public HealthA deer tick sits atop a leaf. http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/id/epidemiology/ticks/

Associated Press
Sunday, May 22, 2016

BOSTON — A University of Massachusetts laboratory that tests ticks that people find on themselves or their pets for diseases that could possibly be passed on is stepping up its efforts as tick season kicks into high gear.

The Laboratory of Medical Zoology in Amherst is partnering with about two dozen towns in the state to offer discounted tick testing that lab director Steve Rich said can help treatment of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.

On a grander scale, the thousands of ticks sent to the lab from all over the country every year are helping to determine where ticks are found, what diseases they carry, and how they spread.

There are about 30,000 confirmed cases of Lyme disease per year in the U.S.