What if my tick test returns positive?

My tick test returned positive for Lyme disease, Babesia, or another tick-borne disease. What do I do now?

Tick testing can provide you with an important early warning that you have been exposed to a tick-borne disease. If your tick submission comes back positive, there are steps that you can take to ensure the health of yourself or loved one.

  1. Many doctors will prescribe a prophylactic antibiotic regimen, before symptoms begin.
  2. Others choose to wait for symptoms to appear before beginning medication.
  1. Contact your health care provider immediately. Provide them with a copy of your tick test report, and tell them when and where you were exposed to the infected tick.
  2. In some states, doctors can prescribe a regimen of antibiotics as a preventative measure without the results of a blood test, or before blood test results are complete. In other states, your doctor may be required to confirm that you have contracted the disease by doing a blood test. Be sure to request that your doctor orders a test for each disease that your tick test found present in the tick that bit you.
  3. Monitor yourself closely for the appearance of the symptoms of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases, including fever, aches and pains, and the characteristic Lyme disease rash. If you notice any symptoms, notify your healthcare provider immediately.
  4. Follow your doctor's instructions for treatment, which will likely include a multi-week prescription for strong antibiotics. With prompt antibiotic treatment, most tick-borne diseases can be completely cured - in some cases, even before symptoms appear.

DISCLAIMER:

Our lab only provides tick testing services, and we cannot give medical advice. A positive tick test does not necessarily mean that you or your loved one has been infected with the disease.

The causative agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, usually requires a significant time of attachment (18-24 hours) to be transmitted from vector to host. Not all bites by these infected ticks will result in the transmission of a disease.

A medical doctor or veterinarian can explain your options and give treatment advice. Our results allow you to determine your risk of exposure to tick-borne diseases, and can greatly assist your physician in the decision making process.