A large number of my patients have left New York City for the country to avoid the COVID-19 pandemic. Not that we need more things to fear, but it is important not to forget that Lyme disease season is upon us. It is early Spring and I received my first call about a tick bite. It has been a mild winter and ticks will be out in full force.
If you discover a tick attached to you, please save the tick after removing it. Do not throw it away. Send it to a lab that will analyze the tick for Lyme disease or one of the other co-infections. Not all ticks are infected and this takes the guess work out of what to do. My favorite lab is at The University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA. Their web address is Tickreport.com. They have the fastest turnaround time (3 days). Go to their website and follow their instructions about how to send the tick to them.
It is reassuring to know either way if the tick was positive or negative for Lyme or co-infection. There is then a basis for treatment or non-treatment, vs taking antibiotics blindly, just in case. I tell all of my patients who are in tick endemic areas to dry brush their skin every night before showering to hopefully remove any not easily seen ticks.
Remember to be tick smart this season and check yourself and your family members regularly. If you have any concerns or questions please call the office at 212-223-4225.