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Portola Valley: Lyme Foundation offers free tick testing

 

The Portola Valley-based Bay Area Lyme Foundation is offering free tick testing to U.S. residents.

Laure Woods of Portola Valley, president and co-founder of the foundation, said she came up with the idea and provided the funding through a grant from the Laurel Foundation.

"With this effort, we intend to make it easier for people who have been bitten by ticks ... to understand their potential risk," Ms. Woods said.

Northern Arizona University will test ticks for six bacterial infections. Results will be available by email in five business days, she said.

"There is a great misconception that Lyme is easy to diagnose due to the bull's eye rash," Ms. Woods said. "However only 70 to 80 percent of infected persons have the rash."

The current "gold standard" diagnosis for Lyme disease misses up to 60 percent of early-stage disease, she said.

One of the fastest growing vector-borne diseases in the U.S., Lyme disease has symptoms of headaches, flu-like illness, joint pain, fatigue, and sometimes a rash.

Visit bayarealyme.org for more information, or call the Portola Valley-based office of the foundation at (650) 530-2439.

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