Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that causes skin, joint, heart, and nervous system problems. It can cause chronic, long-term illness in humans if not identified and treated early.
The Vector-Borne Disease Prevention Program staff will test ticks that are submitted by the public for the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. Effective, early treatment can be initiated by identifying the Lyme spirochete in a tick that has been imbedded in a person or domestic pet.
A tick can be easily removed by gripping it at the base of the imbedded mouthparts with a tweezers. By gently pulling, the tick will release within a few seconds. Do not use Vaseline, gasoline, alcohol, or burn the tick with a match. Do not turn the tick clockwise two times. These popular methods of removal can cause the bacteria to be expelled into the host and can increase the chance of infection. These and similar methods should never be used.
Once removed the tick can be put in a small Ziploc plastic bag with a piece of damp paper towel. You may deliver the tick to the Environmental Health Services Office at the District Health Department at the corner of Ninth Street and Wells Avenue for identification.