LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - You hear about them all the time and chances are you've probably seen a few as well. Doctors have warned that ticks are out in full force this year, especially after a mild winter.
Ticks bring along with them the potential for allergic reactions, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and especially Lyme disease. Testing for Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses can be even more frustrating in the state.
Sean Donegan, owner of Any Lab Test Now in west Little Rock, said he gets a lot of calls about Lyme disease and people wanting to get tested. That’s why Any Lab Test Now is bringing a different test to Arkansas. It’s called a PCR test, or Polymerase chain reaction test. It isn’t new, but it is new to the Natural State.
Donegan said he is bringing it to his business because he wanted to have another alternative for patients on a retail level that brings good results.
He said the PCR test is different than the common Western Blot Testing, which is what the CDC has been recommending for people because Lyme will show on that. But with an acute disease like some cases of Lyme disease, it may not be at the stage where it would show up on that test.
Donegan also claimed Western Blot tests are typically most accurate 2 weeks after being bitten by a tick. They can take up to another 2 weeks to get results back. People can get the PCR test immediately after a suspected bite and he said they can see results in 5 days. The test typically takes 15 minutes for a simple blood sample and is more affordable than tests from other specialized labs.
“It’s about half of the typical test cost,” said Donegan. “Most cost under $200.”
Lori Lynn Sikes, a Lyme awareness advocate said this FDA approved test is a big deal for Arkansas. She said a lot of people find it hard to get their doctor to test them for Lyme right away. Now that Any Lab Test Now is providing this test, people can get tested on the spot without a doctor's signature.
“The PCR test is really good if you want that piece of mind to know whether it is really in your blood stream,” said Sikes. “it’s fast, so you don't have to wait and wonder what kind of risk is involved in waiting to get treatment.”
Any Lab Test Now is not a treatment center nor a doctor's office. It is only a lab testing center. If you have concerns regarding Lyme disease, they recommend seeing a doctor immediately.
For more information about Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses, click here.
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