Lyme , the great mimiker

Discussion in 'Wilderness & Survival Skills' started by mete, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. gadgetgeek


    May 19, 2007
    Except that isn't what he got, and typhus is pretty well known and common. The substandard care he received cannot be blamed on the countries in which he was traveling in. Its risky. Also even had he been first treated in the UK, if he had not disclosed the tick bite, they might not have known. These are risks we take, no one gets out alive.
  2. C_Claycomb


    Dec 11, 2000
    A family friend in Australia did a marathon run that passed through some bush. Shortly afterwards she got sick and has been really unwell ever since. Our response on hearing her symptoms was that it was unquestionably Lyme, but the position of the Australian government is that they do not have Lyme there. While that may be technically true, its an assertion that depends on defining Lyme as caused by a single type of North American bacteria when there is evidence that Australian ticks carry other, very similar, bacteria, most of which have not been researched much.,-researchers-say/7979158
    buckfynn likes this.
  3. gadgetgeek


    May 19, 2007
    Australia has a lot of weird illnesses transmitted by bugs. One of the problems is that its really hard for even a doc to remember what is good research and what is old-wives tales in regards to treatment and diagnosis. Over the next few years it should get easier and easier to test for these illnesses with advances in genetic testing (its pretty cool, gene test everything, delete the "human" and see whats left over) So that will help.
    The medical researchers here are trying to get more samples of the spirochaete family of bacteria, but there are a great many, and not all infect humans. Also many depend on how old you are when first exposed. Collectively they cause a wide range of illnesses.
    The important thing to remember is that no one is intentionally trying to not find this stuff out, its just really really difficult. The research is never fast enough for those who suffer illness, but also keep in mind how much of this info has been discovered in just the last 20 years, and really serious computing horsepower has only been available for 10. This will help in particular in Australia as many of the illnesses that can be caught are viruses, not bacteria and need to be known to be treated correctly. There is a major crisis of antibiotic resistance, as well as a large and vocal anti-science crowd here which do their level best to muddy the waters in an attempt to discredit the medical field. Add to that a small, spread out, very urbanized population (95%) and its really hard to track this stuff down. All research relies on sample size. 1 thousand out of a population of 20 million, with self reported symptoms that correspond to hundreds of other illnesses as well.... Point is, its really hard to get this right.
  4. upnorth

    upnorth Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Interesting/concerning. I used to downplay ticks and focus on potential (though remote) bear encounters. Realistically however I rarely saw bears in the boreal forest. I have however had many ticks crawling on me, with some attached. I damn near tossed the car into the ditch coming home once when I felt one crawling up the back of my neck, and I was swatting it off. I have a picture somewhere that I took with three ticks that I scrapped off my clothes and put into an ice tea bottle. Yes my outdoor safety priorities are evolving.
    Insipid Moniker likes this.
  5. Insipid Moniker

    Insipid Moniker

    Feb 28, 2011
    We always tend to react to visceral threats more than statistical or invisible ones. Bees and mosquitoes kill more people than any other animals by far, but there are plenty of folks who are more scared of sharks. ;)
    Pilsner and upnorth like this.
  6. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I think Ticks are definitely something to pay attention to. I never really got excited about them years ago, attached or not. I would just remove them when I found them. This has changed somewhat with more emphasis on not having any ticks on me for any length of time in the outdoors. I guess the one good thing about ticks since they feed on blood, they usually don't embed themselves in your hair where you could easily miss them for a long time.

    People are much more frightened of snakes, bees, and spiders.
    SharpieB likes this.
  7. jmh33

    jmh33 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    The only tick I ever found attached to me was on my head.. My wife also removed one this past spring from her head.. :rolleyes:
  8. SharpieB


    Oct 31, 2017
    We have a place in the woods that has ticks for a couple of summer months. They are out there so we always check each other and pets. Lyme disease can be serious, but easily avoidable if caught early.

    My 6 year old daughter had a tick burrowing into her head this summer that we caught very early on. NEVER use those cheap tick removal tools unless the tick is barely burrowed into the skin. Hospital does these quick and ticks are almost impossible to pull out in one piece once they start burrowing thru the skin. My daughter’s tick came out in 3 pieces and that was done by 2 doctors with some serious magnification.

    In any case, my daughter had to take some gross liquid medicine twice a day for 2 weeks and she is perfectly fine and Lyme free.
  9. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I've never had a tick attached to my scalp. I have certainly had them crawling around on my hair and onto my neck and face. I see others have, so I need to pay attention to that area more. I do pay attention to spots like the inside of ears. Probably brush my hair rigorously after coming out of the woods beyond picking off the ones that are crawling around on occasion.
    jmh33 likes this.
  10. jaseman


    Jul 28, 2016
    My wife's been dealing with Lyme for 15 years. Back when she got it, Dr's knew much less about it, and were quick to dismiss it as some other illness (my wife was mis-diagnosed as having MS for 3 or 4 years - they had her on some nasty meds, and her MS doc refused to consider that she was misdiagnosed).

    I live in Western PA, and we are the epicenter for Lyme cases. Besides my wife (and my dog) I know at least 8-10 people personally who have had Lyme, and 3 or 4 that have Chronic Lyme. You can't even walk through an unmoved lawn without risking a tick or two trying to score a meal. They are definitely something to pay attention to.

    We do a thorough tic check every time we come back from the woods. Even this time of year (the old doesn't kill them off if you have a heavy deer population like we do). Check the whole body, and pay close attention to the hairline, behind the ears, and any other creases of the body. And remember, they can be as small as a pin head when they first attach. If you get them within the first 24-48 hours, your chances of contracting Lyme greatly decrease, as they've only sucked blood into their bodies, and haven't recirculated it back into your bloodstream (or so the conventional wisdom goes). But it's still good practice to see a doc and get a round of antibiotics just in case.

    I get pretty serious when it comes to tics and Lyme. Not only because it's such a big issue in this area, but because I don't want anyone to have to go through all the issues, and the long road of pain and heartache my wife has been through.
    jux t likes this.
  11. flip888


    Jun 8, 2006
    I've always been really careful of ticks. I wear a full later of clothing to completely cover my skin as best as I can everytieve I go out into tick country.

    I recently moved to Texas and killed some wild boar, they were covered in ticks. It really creeped me out.
    jmh33 likes this.
  12. ales4m


    Mar 24, 2017
    I went chestnuts picking with 12 people on a nearby hill in East Slovenia. 7 of us found a tick on the body. Only I got the Lyme. The tick was attached well and I got it out. Soon there was a red spot on the bite area and I got a very strong fever.
    The idiot doctor tryed to convince me it's just the bite spot inflammation, but I felt the fever that clearly indicated I'm infected. She finally gave in and gave me the antibiotics that did the job. I think I got away with no consequences.
    It's a serious desease which initially goes away untreated, but hits you years after with all kinds of trouble.
    I always use sprays now or wear tights which is a great way to stop these creatures. I'm also encephalitis vaccinated.
    taldesta likes this.
  13. upnorth

    upnorth Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Many years ago I was shooting rabbits down in a river valley. Their ears where massively infested with ticks, to the point of being viscerally repugnant.
  14. Cryptyc


    Sep 24, 2013
    I always take ticks serious and being from PA, you cannot be too careful. I highly recommend sawyers permethrin. That stuff is awesome! Do NOT spray on you. I spray our hiking clothes, hunting clothes and camping gear in it and I have had fantastic luck! You have to reapply it after a few washes but it’s amazing. Trust me. By me they just give you meds for Lyme if you’re bit by a tick. I’ve taken 21 days of meds twice and my boy once.
    jmh33 likes this.

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