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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got two tick bites on a ride a few days ago, and did not keep the offending ticks.

1) are there any accurate Lyme disease tests these days?
2) if I were to have kept the ticks, can they be tested?

thanks.
 

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The tests are very unreliable. Keep the ticks in a jar in the fridge. Keep in mind the ticks that carry lyme are the nymphs, very small, the size of a poppy seed. If your ticks were the larger variety, I wouldn't worry about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
kuuk said:
The tests are very unreliable. Keep the ticks in a jar in the fridge. Keep in mind the ticks that carry lyme are the nymphs, very small, the size of a poppy seed. If your ticks were the larger variety, I wouldn't worry about it.
good. they were larger. I was thinking that don't worry was the best policy.

I'm unclear though, if you do save the ticks, can they be accurately tested to see if they are carrying Lyme?
 

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I had a doc do some blood tests for it a few years ago.
A friend kept the tick, and the doc told her it was useless....I think you just need to find a doc that believes Lyme exists in the area. You can always lie and say you were bitten somewhere back East where it's more prevalent.
 

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The chancs of contracting Lyme disease around here are pretty low (< 1%). And if you get them out relatively quick you shouldn't have a problem. The tick needs to be feeding on your blood for at least 24 hrs. If you do want to get them checked put them in a ziplock with a wet napkin. You can get them tested at the San Mateo Health Dept.
 

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Mostly bad info here.

Adult ticks most certainly can carry borrelia (generally, but arguably, considered the pathogen that causes Lyme Disease). Ticks can reliably be tested, but even if they are carrying borrelia, there is still no guarantee you contracted the infection. Some county health departments will perform the testing for free. Ticks can carry quite a few other dangerous pathogens besides borrelia!

Nearly all testing is for antibodies. Antibody testing does not always work well for many tick-borne illnesses for a number of reasons. The health of your immune system has far more to do with how you weather any infectious storm than any particular pathogen you come into contact with.

I've had hundreds (no exaggeration) of tick bites, but only 2 (both in northern CA) caused any trouble. I would rather break my neck again than go thru what I did with the tick bite mess!!!

It is unlikely you contracted any serious infection from the tick bites, but definitely keep an eye out for rashes, stubborn flu-like symptoms, unexplained weakness, heart palpitations, etc.
 

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Ms.

There are also theories that point to borrelia as a causative agent in MS & many other chronic diseases! So many "chicken or the egg" type issues that won't be truly understood for years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thanks all. I'm going to continue to not worry about these bites, but it looks like it does make sense to keep future, offending ticks and have them tested. I'll start to carry a container to keep them in, should I get bitten in the future.
 

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you know, most docs will go ahead and give you the doxy if you just go make an appointment & ask them for it.

not as fun as getting your medical advice off the internet though. Hey, you get what you pay for.
 

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It is hit and miss with Docs in regards to Lyme Disease. I had one Doctor tell me that you cannot get Lyme Disease in California.

Ahh, I am no doctor or rocket designer but something tells me that just is not true.
 

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Not to be redundant with other posts but.....

Definitive testing is for antibodies (using ELISA first and then a Western Blot).

HOWEVER, the CLASSIC symptom is the Expanding "bull's eye" rash (aka erythema chronicum migrans). It is tough to miss....and yes it really looks like a bulls eye with the center red and then another red ring surrounding it. It is pathopneumonic for Lyme.

I live near the Appalachians and I have seen this frequently, but I can't speak for the incidence in the West. I know it is much less common there, but I would never say "never".
 
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