UMass Lab Steps Up Tick Testing Efforts

Deer Tick (AP Photo/Victoria Arocho, File)

Deer Tick (AP Photo/Victoria Arocho, File)

BOSTON (AP) — A University of Massachusetts laboratory that tests ticks that people find on themselves or their pets for diseases is stepping up its efforts as tick season kicks into high gear.

The Laboratory of Medical Zoology in Amherst is partnering with about two dozen towns in the state to offer discounted testing that lab director Steve Rich said can help treatment of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.

The lab also tests thousands of ticks from all over the country that can help determine where ticks are found, what diseases they carry and how they spread.

Using grant money to make up the difference, Cape Cod residents can pay just $15 for a tick test. Towns elsewhere are offering half-price tests.

The information is shared with doctors, town health departments and even civic organizations.

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