Tulsa Dermatologist Creates Test My Tick Kit

Tess Maune, News on 6

A Tulsa dermatologist has created a special kit to give tick bite victims peace of mind.

Ticks seem to be everywhere this summer. Tulsa dermatologist Dr. George Monks said he's diagnosed three patients in just the past few weeks with tick-borne diseases.

“It's a big problem in Oklahoma,” Monks said. “One carried both Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis, so that patient had two different tick-borne illnesses.”

He said just one bite from a tick could be deadly.

Monks said the game warden who taught him hunter safety as a kid at Boy Scout Camp died because of a tick bite.

“All the dangers that he faced from arresting poachers, in the end, it was a small tick that caused Lyme disease that took his life,” Monks said.

With that in mind, Monks and his wife Rachel created the Test My Tick kit.

“Our goal is to save lives, plain and simple,” Monks said.

The kit comes with everything you need to safely remove a tick then send it off to testing.

“We can test for over 20 different disease-causing organisms,” Monks said.

Monks said within three days you'll know if that tick carried any tick-borne diseases.

I sent in a tick that bit my husband while he was at work. He put it in a little baggie so it could be sent off and tested through Test My Tick. A few days later, the results came back - the tick did not carry any tick-borne diseases.

“It's a peace of mind thing, absolutely,” Monks said.

He said it can sometimes take weeks before tick-borne illness symptoms develop.

So, if the tick I sent had carried tick-borne diseases, doctors could have treated them before symptoms ever showed up.