Ohio is No Longer Testing Ticks For Disease

by Katie McGraw on April 29, 2013 at 6:57 am

Recently the Ohio Department of Health alerted local health officials that due to state budget cuts, they will no longer be testing various insects for potential diseases.

This poses a potential prevention problem for a rural and wooded areas, such as Muskingum County, where three types of ticks can be found. Without this data, we won’t know how many ticks are carrying Lyme Disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Therefore you need to take the prevention into your own hands.

"The state would perform the testing in order to determine if the specific tick was carrying a disease that we would be concerned about it spreading to humans,” said Matt Hemmer, a Public Health Sanitarian at the Health Department. “What I would recommend for people, is submit them to your local health department, and we can identify them to species and make recommendations based on that."

All tick bites, contaminated with disease or not, will initially have the same reaction, but you need to pay attention to possible symptoms of each disease.

"Those usually consist of rash, headache, usually a fever, chills, and also reddening of the eyes can be seen also. "

Last year in Muskingum County there was only one case of each Lyme and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever but the entire state had 93 cases.