The number of Lyme disease cases is the rise in this country, and experts believe climate change and the resulting altered precipitation patterns are at least partly responsible.
In the mid-1990s, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) received approximately 15,000 reports of confirmed cases nationwide; now the number is 30,000 to 40,000. The agency admits it could be as much as 12 times higher.
Studies have shown that warmer areas are witnessing greater growth of tick populations than cooler areas. Moreover, ticks carrying Lyme disease are invading areas that were previously free of them, such as Canada. “Because insects are cold-blooded, they are highly sensitive to outside conditions: a few degrees or inches of rain can significantly enhance or hamper their ability to survive, reproduce, and effectively pass on a parasite,” reports the Huffington Post.
Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium responsible for causing Lyme disease, is spread through the bite of infected ticks. The symptoms are a rash in a bull’s eye pattern, flu-like symptoms, migratory joint pain, neurological problems, heart rhythm irregularities, and facial palsy, among others.
“To identify Borrelia burgdorferi in ticks, EMSL Analytical conducts DNA testing, which gives the most accurate and inexpensive results,” states Charles Li, Ph.D., Director of PCR and DNA Analysis at EMSL. “Furthermore, we can analyze the samples and deliver the results within the same day, so people can begin treatment as soon as possible.”
How to Handle a Tick for Lab Testing
1. Wear gloves or use plastic bag as gloves.
2. Hold tweezers to grasp the tick close to the skin, pull straight back, and avoid crushing the tick’s body (tick body fluid may have bacteria).
3. Put ticks into bag, then put the bag into a second bag.
4. Wash the area with disinfectant.
5. Wash hands with soap and warm water.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is the nation’s leading testing laboratory with over 30 locations throughout the United States and Canada. We specialize in consumer product, environmental, industrial hygiene, indoor air quality, microbiology, radon, food and materials testing services to professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations, as well as state and federal regulating bodies. Please visit our website for a complete listing of accreditations.