CDC awards UMass tick report program with $100K grant - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

CDC awards UMass tick report program with $100K grant

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)
AMHERST, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

The CDC is apologizing for a tweet that's gone viral, comparing the size of ticks to poppy seeds.  

Many are calling the image disgusting, even gross, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it shines a light on the need for vigilance, now more than ever when it comes to ticks.

The CDC then tweeted ,"sorry we ticked some of you off. Don't let a tick bite ruin your summer. Protect yourself."

On Tuesday, Massachusetts residents have a new tool in the fight against such things as Lyme Disease and other tick born illnesses. 

Massachusetts residents now have a new way to "protect themselves," thanks to a new agreement and a $100,000 federal grant.
 
"The CDC is providing money to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to support tick report for residents in the state of Massachusetts for the first time," said Dr. Stephen Rich at UMass Amherst. 
 
The grant goes towards the Laboratory of Medical Zoology  at UMass Amherst.

For years, that lab has offered tick testing called tick report, to anyone from anywhere in the country.

Ticks can be mailed to the lab where scientists analyze them and see if they carry any pathogens that cause Lyme Disease or nearly two dozen other tick-borne illnesses. Within 24 to 48 hours, they will email the results.
 
"Last year we saw about 1,500 ticks from Massachusetts in the months of May and June. We're thinking its going to be more than that because of the availability of this program so we're asking people to act fast," Dr. Rich added.
 
Thanks to the money coming from the CDC, what did cost $50 to $100, will now cost Massachusetts residents $15.

"It's the most affordable it's ever been so we think more people are going to do it. We are a little concerned that its going to get used up pretty quickly and now that its more accessible it's going to run out fast," Dr. Rich noted.
 
In other words, once the lab runs through that $100,000 grant, the subsidy program will end and the higher price will return.
 
The lab received 170 ticks just on Monday.  The program goes "live" on Wednesday. 

For more information on how to send in a tick to the tick lab, please visit the link here.

The CDC also has tips on how to prevent tick bites on their website.
 
Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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