ESU Receives Money for Tick Research Lab

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SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Scientists at East Stroudsburg University's Northeast Wildlife DNA Lab test ticks year round.

But thanks to state taxpayer money, they will now further their research and surveillance by starting a State Tick Research Lab.

"We were able to secure a half million dollars from the state to start funding our free tick testing service here at the DNA lab," said Nicole Chinnici, Northeast Wildlife DNA Lab Director.

Nicole Chinnici is the director at the lab. She says this grant money will help pay for tick testing supplies.

"The free testing will cover three bacterial diseases, which includes Lyme disease, and depending on what kinds of ticks you have it will cover others as well as the Powassan virus," said Chinnici.

Not only will this money allow for free tick testing, but it also allowed for the hiring of two new technicians which will help when thousands of ticks reach this laboratory.

The money will also help support the development of a data website that will provide infection rates, as well as identify areas across the state where ticks are most common.

"We are really at the forefront for forensics, animal forensics, and so to have this money to help us continue to advance tick testing and diagnoses of Lyme disease is really phenomenal," said President Marcia Welsh, East Stroudsburg University.

If you ever find a tick, you can send it to the lab at East Stroudsburg University to have it identified and tested.  You're asked to wrap it in a plastic sandwich bag.

For the address to the lab, click here.

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