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Spring activities - raising awareness of Lyme and Weil’s

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Many snowheads also are bike heads, hikeheads, climbingheads and kayakheads. When getting out there doing things instead of skiing, for those of you not already aware, it’s worthwhile taking some time to understand the risks of Lyme Disease and Weil’s Disease. Both are nasty, both are caused by spirochaete bacteria. Both are rare, but Lyme is increasing in the UK as the deer population continues to increase and annual average temperatures rise. Ticks are responsible for transmitting Lyme, while fresh rodent droppings and urine can transmit Weil’s - hence it being a problem for watersports. Lyme is endemic in the area we mountainbike in during the winter - Thetford Forest - and is becoming established on the South Downs. It is very well established in the New Forest and the Scottish Highlands. Some medics are concerned about Lyme but most are unaware, and the health service should become a bit more responsive to the issue. Tick removal is easy but should follow a set protocol (remove within 24 hours and extract all head parts using tweezers or special tick remover - see https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/removal/index.html.

Lyme left untreated can be very nasty. Weil’s can be fatal. Both are treatable using antibiotics, but recognition is vital. Good maps exist of heavily infected Lyme areas.

This is interesting:
https://www.pinkbike.com/news/video-max-fiereks-fight-to-ride-lyme-disease-fatigue.html


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Wed 30-12-20 14:47; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
remove within 24 hours and extract all head parts using POINTED tweezers or special tick remover
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@holidayloverxx, why pointed tweezers as opposed to normal ones?
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@denfinella, to get as close possible to the ticks head. eyebrow tweezers are blunt and clumsy for such an application and risks tearing the tick
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@holidayloverxx, same tick remover as we have for the dog? I have a few of those and usually have one with me in a pocket.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
You need to get all body parts out - the tick uses its jaws to burrow down into skin, the removal of all parts is really to stop general infection - the bacteria which cause Lyme is held in the tick’s internal organs. They burrow in, ingest blood and swell, and then contract and drop off. It’s that latter phase which you want to avoid, hence the 24 hour window of getting it off. Old folk remedies such as smearing with Vaseline actual promote a defense mechanism where the tick vomits its stomach contents into your bloodstream, which is exactly what you don’t want.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Is Lyme disease the same as FSME? We have a vaccine for that in Austria.

Sorry, just realised that FSME is TBE in English, so probably not the same as Lyme disease.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Get one of the Tom Tick removers & carry it with you in your first aid kit.

I've been very aware of it for 30 years or so from deer stalking & know a few people who have had it.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Like Malaria and mosquitos it's best not to be bitten by the tick in the first place.

Try and keep out of bracken.
Wear long trousers and long sleeved tops.
Tuck trouser legs into socks.
After any possible exposure a full body search of you and your partner's bodies is necessary. (It is not all bad news Toofy Grin )
All clothing to go immediately into the washing machine.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Thanks for this post, we walk a lot and had been meaning for ages to have the kit in case we ever needed it and now you’ve prompted me to order. Appreciate the timely reminder!
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Ticks can be found in some surprising places. We all got bitten last June when taking logs from a woodpile in the country! You could also sometimes find them on the floor of the chalet when the wood warmed up inside.

I also still have a small mark where one was removed. I think because of some sort of alergic reaction. Minging!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@queenie pretty please, no Lymes disease is not the same as FSME/TBE though both can potentially be caught from the same tick bite. Lymes is more widespread than TBE. TBE is endemic in Austria and parts of southern Germany amongst other places. As far as I know it is not possible to treat and can have potentially serious long term health effects. It is fairly unlikely to actually get infected but much safer to be vaccinated if you take part in any outdoor activities. I dont believe this is currently an issue for more northern parts of Europe. Anyone planning on mountain walking / biking etc in the alps (not sure about French alps) should get the vaccine. Lymes can generally be treated with antibiotics if spotted quickly enough, there is no vaccine. It is also a big issue for dogs around here, really need to ensure they are treated with tick repellent though there is some evidence this is pretty environmentally unfriendly!
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@holidayloverxx, gotcha. I have to admit I'm not convinced about the need for the special removers or pointed tweezers. We find about a dozen embedded each year but they always come out fully with careful use of normal tweezers. (The other thing you have to be careful about is squeezing the body, as I think that can make ticks regurgitate the contents of their stomach back into you.)
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Welcome to my world! Toofy Grin

I live only 50 miles from Lyme, Connecticut! Sad

I've given up hill walking & mountain biking in the summer. It's now only road cycling and kayaking.

Hill walking is now only done in autumn when it's cold enough I would naturally be fully covered. Mountain biking can go from autumn through winter if there's no snow on the ground. (when there's snow, it's better to cross country ski! Laughing )

Only found ticks on me once or twice. Still not worth the mental anguish (some estimate half of the deer in my neck of woods have Lyme) I go to the woods to relax, not to pick up more worries.

That said, you can't pick up ticks without getting close to some vegetation (tall grass or tree branches). So hiking in wide open space above tree line should be safe.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Fortunately our doctors are very aware of Lyme disease, I didn’t know that I had been bitten and went to my doctor for something else and asked him what was causing the irritation at the back of my leg, he recognised it as tick bite immediately and put me on antibiotics straight away, a blood test a few weeks later showed that I was clear. The infection grows around the spot and looks like a target.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
definella - yes that's right, you don't want to annoy the little b+++++s, since that regurgitation injects the bacterium into you, should that specific tick be a carrier
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I think the Tick Twister is the best tool and easy to use. And always keep a set handy in the car and various places. Easy to use on the dog too but fortunately our dog doesn't pick up many and they are usually easy to spot.

https://www.viovet.co.uk/OTom-Tick-Remover/c419/

Can be got on Amazon etc too.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Some call Lyme Disease the new HIV (1990s).

Enters the bloodstream, difficult to treat, and years from a guaranteed cure.

As above, don't get bit in the first place.

Coverup good.

If you get a bullseye, zap it rightaway with antibiotics.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Wed 30-12-20 18:45; edited 1 time in total
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Matt Dawson had a serious case of Lyme too.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-40973709
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
TBE is potentially more serious than I thought, it is potentially fatal, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tick-borne_encephalitis . I know that TBE vaccination is very widespread in Austria. Anyone planning any sort of outdoor activity in central or eastern Europe and many parts of Scandinavia should ensure they are vaccinated. I am sure I have read that TBE can be passed on very quickly after a bite whereas it usually takes some time (24 hours +??) for Lyme to be passed on ie the quicker the tick is removed the smaller the chance of getting Lyme.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
Some Lyme symptoms (lack of taste) can be similar to other conditions and missed.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
A good friend of mine died of Weills when he was only 31. It is thought he got it while fishing.
Another friend of mine got Lyme very badly and is now in a wheelchair.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Sorry to hear that. And it shows that many people ‘know someone who knows someone’ who has been affected. While incidence and cases are on the increase (see https://www.bmj.com/company/newsroom/uk-tick-borne-lyme-disease-cases-may-be-3-times-higher-than-previous-estimates/) it’s not alarmist to raise awareness, since prevention is easy: wear long trousers and remove ticks quickly using an appropriate method.

And perhaps be familiar with what they look like - they are distinctive in having have eight legs, and a very recognisable body shape:

https://eu.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/2019/08/09/tick-monitoring-vermont/1887822001/
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