A study is underway in Missouri to find out which species of ticks are present here and to better identify the bacterial pathogens they carry. Matt Combes with the Missouri Conservation Department says half of the counties have no information that can be verified. Ticks gathered this summer and next will be tested for bacterial pathogens that cause human illnesses like ehrlichiosis and tularemia.
Usually, doctors prescribe an antibiotic for flu-like symptoms in the summer that could very likely be a tick-borne disease. Blood tests are often not taken because they take time and can be expensive.