Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. And chances are if you’re an avid fan of the great outdoors during the spring and summer months; you’ve heard it being mentioned. While covering up, wearing the correct insect repellent, and checking yourself for ticks after you’ve been outdoors are great steps to follow to reduce your risk of contracting the disease; recent estimates suggest that just under 500,000 people may still get Lyme disease each year in the United States.
People become exposed to Lyme disease when they’re bitten by an infected black-legged tick. These infamous ticks are more active in the summer months and are usually found in heathland, woodland, parkland, and grassy areas . Doctors use one of two common tests used to detect Lyme disease: enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and the Western blot. If you would prefer to test from home, you can do so with LetsGetChecked’s at-home Lyme Disease Test.
How do I check for Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is most common in Northern America or Northern Europe. People who spend time in wooded or grassy areas and have exposed skin are most at risk of tick bites. If you are bitten and successfully remove the tick within two days, your risk of contracting Lyme disease is low. Still, it’s always important to err on the side of caution and take a Lyme disease test if you have been exposed to Lyme disease-carrying ticks.
A blood test is used to identify the antibodies of the bacteria in your blood (Borrelia burgdorferi). As it can take your body some time to develop antibodies, these tests are the most reliable a few weeks after initial exposure.
If you would like to test from home, LetsGetChecked’s at-home Lyme Disease Test works by identifying Borrelia antibodies in the blood which can indicate exposure to Lyme disease. It involves a simple finger prick sample and online results will be available within 2-5 days.
The test will arrive in discreet packaging with a return envelope and clear instructions inside. Should you have any questions, our dedicated medical team is available throughout the process to offer a helping hand. If you need further information about the collection process, you can find out more here.
When should I test for Lyme disease?
Lyme disease can sometimes show no obvious signs or symptoms for weeks, months, or even years . If symptoms do the show, they may include:
- Red target-like skin rash
- Muscle and joint aches
It can take 2-6 weeks after a tick bite for the Lyme Disease Test to identify antibodies in the blood. If you are concerned about Lyme disease you should consider testing (or retesting) 6 weeks after the tick bite. If you develop the erythema migrans rash, or if you experience any neurological symptoms, you should contact your doctor immediately.
The earlier the infection is identified, the easier it becomes to treat. This, along with the fact obvious signs don’t always emerge, makes it so important to take a Lyme Disease Test if you believe you’ve been exposed to ticks during any outdoor adventures. The process is simple:
- The test is shipped directly to you by next day delivery
- Activate your test and answer a few health-related questions
- Your health record will be reviewed by a medical team member and should you need any support services, they will be provided
- Collect your sample at a time that suits you
- Send your sample back to our laboratory using the pre-paid shipping label provided
- Your sample will be processed in an anonymous and timely manner
- Your results will be reviewed by our team of doctors. A member of our nursing team will contact you to deliver your results, discuss any next steps and offer prescriptions in some cases
You should consider taking the test if:
- You are presenting with symptoms of Lyme disease
- You live in a place that is rich in vegetation or a woodland area
- You live in Northern America or Northern Europe
- You go camping or hiking on a regular basis, particularly during the Summer or Autumn
- You come into contact with larger woodland animals on a regular basis