LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) — The University of Arkansas for Medical Studies wants your ticks. Seriously.
The university is trying to gather ticks from all around the state for a comprehensive study on the various bacteria in ticks, according to a UAMS post. The study will help determine the prevalence and distribution of tick-borne diseases.
Ticks are very common in Arkansas, and naturally tick-borne illnesses are as well. About a third of the diseases reported to the ADH are from ticks.
Researchers are asking Arkansas residents to mail in their ticks, specifically these varieties: Rickettsia, Francisella, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, and Borrelia.
However, if you suspect you’ve received an illness from a tick bite, you are urged to keep the tick and submit it to diagnostic testing. This study, which the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and the Arkansas Department of Health are also collaborating with, is purely for research.
Here’s how to submit a tick:
- Put the ticks in a Ziploc bag along with a damp paper towel or cotton ball.
- Seal the opening of the bag with tape.
- Sign the submission form (found here) and add contact information and the location where the ticks are found.
- Put the bag of ticks and submission form inside either a padded envelope, or a normal envelope with padding added around the tick bags.
- Mail to the following address: Jon Blevins, Associate Professor University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology 4301 West Markham – Mail Slot 511 Little Rock, AR 72205