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.
- Many doctors will prescribe a prophylactic antibiotic regimen, before symptoms begin.
- Others choose to wait for symptoms to appear before beginning medication.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.