/ NEW ARTICLE: Ticks and Lyme Disease by JayH
But how do you know if you've got it and what do you do if you do? JayH, now JayG, talks from experience and gives us the low down on ticks and Lyme disease.
Secondly, we obviously couldnt do that with the dog, and he got some that did the 'baked bean' thing. We found that just dipping a match into a bottle of neat Bob Martins Dog Pest Shampoo and dropping it on the tick they would fall off instantly.
Man, that's bad! I had 1 on my finger in glen nevis the other week but i flicked it off whilst it was crawling, before it got a bite fortunately, checked later, didnt find any others though.
Vaccine for Lyme disease
A vaccine was developed for use in high-risk areas; however, the vaccine was recently removed from the market due to uncertainty over its effectiveness and lack of demand, and it is no longer available.
Good article though - cheers!
Thanks for (finally) putting this up Mick. The prevalence of ticks is supposed to be it's worst ever this year in this country after such a mild winter.
Yes...thank you very much Jay.
As we get more information we can update this FAQ.
bloody hell, it looks like the brain bug from Starship Troopers.
I wonder how many fell runners end up with a gut full of these blighters?
i developed a classic 'bulls eye' rash one summer after climbing in the churnet
i didn't realise i had been bitten by anything and didn't know anythign about Lyme at the time
i got some ABs from casualty and the rash subsided, sadly i didn't get a photo of it...as far as i am aware i haven't developed any subsequent symptoms, but seeing as many of the symptoms are vague and easily attributable to other minor ailments it is difficult to be precise about this
Not an ideal link John but the original had expired.
It does say this:
"Most cases in the UK occur where infected ticks are found - mainly in Exmoor, the New Forest, the South Downs, parts of Wiltshire and Berkshire, Thetford Forest, the Lake District, the Yorkshire moors and the Scottish Highlands. Most people affected are forestry workers and other outdoor workers, but visitors and holiday makers to these areas are at risk."
If anyone can find a better link please post. A map of hot spots would be useful.
> bloody hell, it looks like the brain bug from Starship Troopers.
> I wonder how many fell runners end up with a gut full of these blighters?
Do the Deep Heat thing.
And just to fan the panic you might want to be aware of the spread of TBE (tick borne encephalitis), especially in the eastern parts of Europe for those of you cragging in Czech Rep. or Slovenia. Potentially far more serious than Lyme Disease! have a look at www.masta-travel-health.com/tickalert for more info.
Cheers for the article.
I have had a tick from the heather below Stac Pollaidh already this year(few weeks ago). Jump the girlfriend as she was sunbathing there and then me in bed!
Have been checking thouroughly after outdoors activity in likely areas since then.
They were out early this year.
Where in this page does it show a list of infected areas in the UK?
"I took doxycycline for 2 months and suffered a burning stomach, oral thrush, nerve damage in my arms and legs and severe sunsensitivity..."
Woops. I got quite a few one week in the lakes and after getting them out of each other (using meths and tweezers) we used to crunch their shells by putting them on one nail and rolling another over them. Very satisfying but apparently very wrong...
One thing worth thinking about, if you suspect infection a much quicker result can be obtained by analysing the blood from the tick than trying to find the infection in a sample from your blood.
So, keep the tick!
I got quite a few last year from frolicking on Dartmoor, I seem to remember it coincided with the first time I watched aliens. No idea how they got there (honest!) but found two little buggers in a VERY sensitive place - most alarming! Never taking a short cut through the bracken again...
I once found at well fed tick on the equally well fed resident labrador at the climber's campsite in Montague, SA. I carefully teased it off and then squeezed it hard - its head bits flew off, propelled by a thin stream of blood. That was pretty cool.
thanks for info - I understand that one reason for the 'explosion' this year is that Defra have banned some of the more effective sheep-dips, as being dangerous to human health - so we get a different danger instead!
I'll live with ticks if hill farmers can avoid some of the more noxious nerve agents that MAFF/DEFRA have continued to force them to be exposed to for years. About time they banned a few.
I got three ticks, still attached to places that made me wince when I had to remove, them from Richmond Park (wild deer in the park) in London (several years ago) no rash and no further symptoms fortunately.
There is no climbing there but thought I'd post it anyway.
We had a visitor come and stay with us who had Lyme disease. He was well when he arrived. Then it hit him again. I've only ever seen one other person looking so ill. He couldn't move for days. Poor sod.
On a more serious note. If you come climbing down under - on the Australian Far South Coast of NSW you stand a good chance of being bitten by a tick which will kill. Certainly they are fatal to large animals, and many local dogs die each year as a result of the 'blue' tick - roughly the size of the fingernail which illustrates the article above.
The second tick (similar size) is the brown tick. Doesn't kill (or shouldn't unless you've a weak constitution) just makes you feel like shit.
If hit by the blue - the 'Paralyzing Tick) get instant medical assistance.
To remove the ticks grip the body - but not firmly enough to burst it, and twist in an anti-clockwise direction. (The jaws wind in a clockwise manner.) The dab instantly with an emetic. Aftershave, whisky, gin metho or whatever.
But apart from that NSW has some great climbing. (Apart from the snakes - all but one fatal.) Oh, and the odd scorpion.
What a great article. To add my bit to the discussion, I have Lyme disease, but unfortunately did not receive the correct diagnosis originally (I was originally diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue) and did not start to get the necessary antibiotics until after two years. By waiting this long I am now virtually house bound and some days virtually bed bound and have been ill now for over three years. I say all this not to get sympathy, but to get you all to take it all seriously. Like you Mick, I have done a lot of research into the condition and a lot more information is coming out about how to treat it. A combination of antibiotics is probably the best approach to kill the critters, as the bugs can exist in different forms, of which different kinds of antibiotics are most effective against diferent forms. Not so sure I agree about the waiting 6 weeks to see if you get it as there seems to be plenty of evidence that the disease can lie dormant indefinitely, before 'becoming active', by currently unknown reasons. It also looks like you can pass it on sexually and from mother to baby via the placenta. It is common to get to have other co-infections too. The 'best' news if you can call it that, is that it looks like you have to be genetically predisposed to get the disease, i.e. most people when bitten by an infected bug will be able to cope with it, but in some people, like me, their immune system effectively does not have the correct genetic programming to be able to cope and therefore you get ill. I guess I'm not the most objective advisor when it comes to giving out advice, but I would get treatment immediately because you don't know whether you are genetically predisposed to get it and/or whether the disease is just lying dormant. For any of you who want to get treatment, but your GP's are being a**holes about it there are two Lyme disease specialists in the UK. Apparently it is illegal to give details over the internet so you didn't hear it from me - but they are Dr Wright, Westhoughton, Lancahsire and Dr Owen, Cardiff. Google will give you the rest. They are both private specialists and have gotten many people well. Before I got ill I had a research background and presuming I get well enough to work again I'm going to make Borrelia my career, because I think from what I've read so far, it is on the increase and us climbers are more at risk that your average Sunday driver type.
Stevie thank you very much for that. A harrowing story indeed. I'd just like to point out that I did not research or write this article (just edited, layed it out and announced it).
It was JayH that researched and wrote this article and as you say she did a very fine job indeed.
Best of luck.
Good article Jay.
To add to the doom - I got bitten on 29 Jan this year at Gimmer; seems the winter really has been too mild to kill them.
Last summer the gearoing up spot at Gimmer was awash with the buggers - I got twelve despite regular checks and removed several more pre-bite.
Having a working dog, I regularly have to remove ticks from him. I use a special hock called OTOM. (www.atom.com) Which has two sizes depending on the seize of the tick. This gets under the body and then a sharp twist in either direction and a pull away from the body. This ensure the head is not left in the object it was feeding on. Which can also cause many other problems. I have had a 100% success with this devise and would suggest you carry these with you. Alternative a good set of tweezers or pliers. (Just remember to twist before you pull)
the tool is called OTOM. (www.atom.com)
BBC Radio Scotland did an excellent episode of 'Medical Matters' on Lymes Disease. Not sure if it's ever repeated though.
Yes, Thank You Nick you fiend. Love the EXTRA HUGE close up of the "engorged body" tick.
I didn't sleep a wink last night.
ACCUSED tiny screen!
(throws up hands) AUGH!
Thanks for the article Jay.
I remember it being a really big thing in the US (when I worked there, was given the whole ticks/Lyme Disease lecture and told to watch out for them). I had not realised that it was an issue in Europe.
Probably a bit late to this thread but I work with a company called Care Plus who have insect repellents (DEET based) and also a tick remover. They're new to the UK but the products are available in travel clinics and many outdoor shops. Details at www.careplus.nl
I seem to suffer from them big time - strange that some people get them and others don't - but the DEET stuff has worked well so far.
It's the small ones you need to watch out for, so easy to miss particularly if you've never come across them before.
We had a terrifying experiance with ticks in the Hebrides (Pabbay) only becoming aware of them after a few days of shorts wearing through long grasses etc. I still have scars from the bites. Fortunately, Lyme symptoms didn't prevail, although the dormancy issue is worrying me . We had foolishly left our tent doors open a lot and found they migrated from the grass and clothes into the tent and sleeping bags. Nightmare of itching and scratching. Once we realised what they were and removed countless from the tent inner netting with climbing tape, we spent the rest of the week meticulously tick checking each other. We returned to Pabbay later that year after a trip to Mingulay (tickless) to find an even greater problem....so much so that we camped on the beach to be away from the grasses and the dreaded beasts. Camping on the beach reduced the tick invasion but the weeks advancing tides mean't the available sand for 1/2 a dozen tents got ridiculously small. Comically, some of us were woken with sea water lapping up into the tents. The boat arrived just in time.
I have heard they are off the Island now along with the sheep.
It's good to have some clarification on removal rather than the plethora of old wives tales...iodine, lighters, clockwise, anticlockwise, suffocate with vaseline.....blah, blah.
Nasty things...I think I'll be wearing long trousers more this summer.
Ticks can carry Lymes and TBE (is that the Meningitis brain fluid one?)
You can get vacinated for the brain fluid illness which I am going to get done. I have removed tics 6 times already this year.
Nasty little bleeders.
From my last two trips to Kyloe I've come away with unwanted passengers.
I guess the long grass and bracken is ideal tick territory.
Elsewhere on the site
Manchester Climbing Centre is showing Reel Rock’s Valley Uprising on Tuesday the 11th of November at... Read more
Last year, Finn McCann wrote an article about climbing El Capitan with his terminally ill father Seamus, who had been... Read more
A fantastically versatile little pack; whether out running in the hills, hitting the trails on the bike or just running for the... Read more
Pete Whittaker has flashed the 32 pitch route Freerider 5.12d on El Capitan in Yosemite Valley over three days,... Read more