UConn tests ticks, which are active in fall

STORRS, Conn. (WTNH) — At the UConn lab, they have been testing ticks for decades but now they can test more ticks and for more diseases.

Lab technicians Maureen Sims and Holly McGinnis were very busy this summer. Several Petri dishes show samples of the many ticks which came into the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory for testing. It could soon see even more this fall when ticks are active again.

“Particularly this time of year you have foggy mornings and you have damp evenings they’re apt to come out and do some questing at that time,” said UConn Associate Extension Professor Tom Worthley. He says while studying how to control the invasive Japanese Barberry researchers made a skin crawling discovery.

“Many of the workers on the research party were getting huge amount of ticks and huge amounts of tick bites,” said Worthley.

Many of those ticks were infected with Lyme disease along with who knows what else.

“There’s a large number of tick borne diseases that can be carried by any one tick,” said Worthley.

That’s why testing can help identify diseases or pathogens before symptoms show up. Often times those bitten by a deer tick which isn’t always as tiny as many think are started on an antibiotic.

“But you could be also susceptible to a different disease that’s not affected by antibiotics,” said Worthley. “One of the viruses for example.”

“The usual turn around time for test results is three to five business day but certainly if you need the results more quickly they also have next day service for an extra fee.

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