How To Test For Lone Star Tick Disease
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast you’re probably familiar with the Lone Star tick. This tick is found mainly in the eastern southeastern south-central parts of the United States. It’s known to carry several diseases including Lyme disease Rocky Mountain spotted fever STARI (Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness).
If you’ve been bitten by a Lone Star tick are experiencing symptoms such as fever headache rash or joint pain you may need to get tested for Lone Star tick disease. Here are the steps you can take to get tested:
Step 1: See a doctor
The first step is to see a doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will examine you ask about your symptoms medical history. If they suspect that you have Lone Star tick disease or any other tick-borne illness they will order some diagnostic tests.
Step 2: Blood tests
Your doctor may order blood tests to diagnose Lone Star tick disease. These tests look for antibodies against the bacteria that causes the disease. However these tests are not always accurate false negatives are possible especially during the early stages of the infection.
Step 3: PCR tests
Your doctor may also order a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. This test looks for the DNA of the bacteria that causes Lone Star tick disease. A PCR test is more accurate than a blood test can detect the disease even in the early stages.
Step 4: Skin biopsy
In some cases a skin biopsy may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis of Lone Star tick disease. Your doctor will take a small sample of skin from the affected area examine it under a microscope.
Step 5: Treatment
If you test positive for Lone Star tick disease your doctor will prescribe antibiotics. Doxycycline is the most commonly prescribed antibiotic for Lone Star tick disease. Most people recover completely with prompt treatment. However if left untreated the disease can cause serious complications.
Prevention is the best way to avoid Lone Star tick disease. Here are some tips to prevent tick bites:
– Wear long-sleeved shirts pants when you’re outdoors.
– Use insect repellent containing DEET on your skin clothes.
– Check yourself your pets thoroughly for ticks after spending time outdoors.
– Remove any ticks promptly using tweezers or a tick-removal tool.
– Shower soon after being outdoors to wash off any unattached ticks.
In conclusion getting tested for Lone Star tick disease is important if you’re experiencing symptoms after a tick bite. Visit your doctor as soon as possible to get tested treated. Prevention is also key to avoiding this other tick-borne diseases. Stay safe enjoy the great outdoors!
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