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Lyme Disease: Challenging Old Stereotypes
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Lyme Disease: Challenging Old Stereotypes on 07/06/2010 13:01:51 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Lyme Disease: Challenging Old Stereotypes

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Lyme Disease: Challenging Old Stereotypes on 07/06/2010 13:12:29 MDT Print View

Scary stuff. A girl I went to high school had undiagnosed lyme. Led to several problems, including a heart attack (according to her). Still has joint problems in both knees, hips, and strangely degenerating discs in her neck.

Ben Crowell
(bcrowell) - F

Locale: Southern California
mouthparts; dropping off of trees on 07/06/2010 13:54:27 MDT Print View

"Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to worry about leaving the mouth parts of the tick in the skin."
This is good to know. Would have saved me from making a trip to the doctor recently when I got a tick on me in California and thought I hadn't succeeded in removing the head.

"Contrary to what some may believe, ticks do not jump or fly. Rather, ticks attach to their hosts when the host brushes by whatever object the tick may be resting on."
This seems to contradict what some folks here were saying recently about using a mosquito-netted shelter to avoid ticks that dropped out of trees.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: mouthparts; dropping off of trees on 07/06/2010 17:34:14 MDT Print View

> This seems to contradict what some folks here were saying

Lots of very popular myths around.

Gullies near suburbia are very bad for big ticks - usually spread by the local dogs.


Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: mouthparts; dropping off of trees on 07/06/2010 17:51:43 MDT Print View

"Contrary to what some may believe, ticks do not jump or fly. Rather, ticks attach to their hosts when the host brushes by whatever object the tick may be resting on."

Most likely they don't jump. If you look at them closely you will see that their legs just aren't designed for jumping. But it is very possible that, being very sensitive to vibration, that when a tree or bush is brushed, they feel it and let go of their perch to fall onto their intended victim. Many, many insects and arachnids do this, mostly for self-preservation.

Frederick Maxfield
(fredmax56) - M

Locale: New England
Lyme Disease not always a rash. on 07/06/2010 18:15:21 MDT Print View

My daughter contracted Lyme Disease back in 2005, my daughter was 7. The first syptoms appeared while on a trip to Florida. We live in Massachusetts were Lymes is common. The MDs, in Florida, thought that it was just a virus. We never saw a rash. The first sign was a Facial Droop. My wife and I are both Nurses. Being a nurse my first thought was what causes a facial Droop. Sorry to any MDs but we did not trust the Diag. Lymes is not common in Florida. My internet search found that Lymes can cause a Facial Droop. My daughters PCP agreed. Blood tests confirmed Lymes. My daughter was started on several weeks of Doxy. She has recovered from Lymes without anyother problems. Thank God.

Edited by fredmax56 on 07/06/2010 18:51:35 MDT.

george carr
(hammer-one) - F - MLife

Locale: Walking With The Son
Re: Re: mouthparts; dropping off of trees on 07/06/2010 18:51:01 MDT Print View

I believe you are correct, Miguel. I was on a jobsite a couple of years ago, and ticks were dropping out of the trees at a noticable rate. Enough so to cause concern. It's the only time I've witnessed this happening, but confirmation none the less.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: "Lyme Disease: Challenging Old Stereotypes" on 07/06/2010 20:54:54 MDT Print View

Excellent article! It's cool to read about the latest tent but when push comes to shove, articles like this will keep us all happy campers.

Thank you!

Dont Wantto
(longhiker) - F
climb and drop on 07/06/2010 21:48:51 MDT Print View

I heard from someone usually reliable that ticks just keep climbing when they are on a plant sometimes.. until they reach the tip of a leaf and just wait there. You get them on you by brushing against them.

But I imagined this applied to plants and tall grasses.. not trees.

Unknown abc
(edude) - F
"Lyme Disease: Challenging Old Stereotypes" on 07/06/2010 22:30:23 MDT Print View

Very interesting article. Recently I've been wanting to ditch the DEET and switch to cedar oil repellent. How well do you think it works against ticks?

William Kline
(WindRiverMan) - F
Re: "Lyme Disease: Challenging Old Stereotypes" on 07/07/2010 08:06:57 MDT Print View

Picaridin(sp?) is proving quite effective for me, and I hike off trail a lot in MS, sometimes in or near swampy areas.Mossy and tick heaven! Permethrin (sp?)has turned out to be wonderfully effective. Very often these days, I hike with a sun hat (with one of the cloth thingies that hangs down to cover neck and shoulders) and socks thoroughly sprayed with Permethrin, pants and tee shirt less thoroughly sprayed. (that is sprayed mainly around waistline, cuffs, neck opening etc) Then I carry Picaridin just in case, for remaining exposed skin. But most of the time, I have not had to bother applying the Picaridin.

But either way, I never even see a bug near me these days. In the past, no matter how much DEET or Picaridin I would put on my face/neck/ears, usually I would hear that irritating buzzing right near my ears soon after getting out of the vehicle to start the hike. I usually couldn't see the rascals, and I wouldn't get bit. But it was a little disconcerting, and I would often stop to add more repellent around my ears due to paranoia. These days, I suppose due to the Permethrin sprayed hat and clothing, I rarely- if ever- hear that dang buzzing. I love it!

Lawson Kline
(Mountainfitter) - M

NE Georgia on 07/07/2010 08:29:15 MDT Print View

Great Article!

I was just in NE Georgia on a camping/backpacking trip. We came back from a long day hike to find my tent fly covered in ticks. There were roughly 20 larvae sized ticks on the rain fly. The surrounding grass wasn't tall and they didn't seem to be able to climb the rain fly so they must of been falling from an overhanging tree. Needless to say I moved the tent.

I also must say Probiotics work. I had an unexplained digestive illness that debilitated my daily life for over 2 months. Every test in the world came back negative so I started taking probiotics. I have been taking them for about three weeks now and within the last week or so I started to feel normal again. I still think I had an undiagnosed case of giardia but who really knows.

Edited by Mountainfitter on 07/07/2010 08:44:27 MDT.

jeff daniels
(idonateplasma) - F
Lyme Researchers Making Advances, but still need help on 07/07/2010 08:44:15 MDT Print View

Diagnosed with Lyme Disease? There are several researchers trying to learn more and improve the testing. You can get paid if you have Lyme Disease to donate blood samples for that research. Sites like those below list many of those studies:!/group.php?gid=131595086856733

Henry Blake
(Dragon) - F

Locale: Minnesota
Ticks in MN on 07/07/2010 09:32:52 MDT Print View

I was grateful to have the detail that was in this article. Living in MN, I have been aware of Lyme disease for years. But not with the detail just given. It's truly scary stuff.

About a month ago, I went for an hour long walk in a wild park close to the Twin Cities with another outdoors friend. There were approximately 15 ticks that got onto my body during that walk. As I felt or saw each one crawling, I picked it off. The next two days, I found a couple of strays. None of these were the smaller deer ticks that spread Lyme, but it's still unsettling.

Upon returning to his house, his wife, an MD arrived home. She pulled up her blouse and showed me a very small red spot and described other strange symptoms she was experiencing. She recognized it as Lyme, and immediately got a Doxy pill that was in his "samples" drug stash to start the treatment. She planned to get a prescription filled to finish the 10 day treatment.

Again, thanks for this sort of article, that seems a bit out of our BPL realm at first glance, but really is very appropriate for this group.

Paul J Ettestad
(ettestad) - MLife
Surveillance for Lyme Disease on 07/07/2010 10:14:33 MDT Print View

One thing that needs to be pointed out about the CDC national surveillance map, by convention, cases are reported by state of residence, not by location of exposure. So the few cases that are shown in New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, etc are in people who have been exposed in endemic areas in the NE United States, upper Midwest, or Pacific West Coast where the ticks that can transmit Lyme Disease (Ixodes scapularis, Ixodes pacificus)are found. Ixodes scapularis in the NE United States and upper Midwest can also carry other diseases such as babesiosis and anaplasmosis so these also need to be in the differential diagnosis.

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
"Lyme Disease: Challenging Old Stereotypes" on 07/07/2010 11:08:57 MDT Print View

ticks and chiggers around here year 'round.

Excepting the disease potential chiggers do much more "damage" regularly sending people to the local medical center for prednizone shots...really itchy. Also regarding the old wives tail about fingernail polish on the bite; by the time the bite appears the chigger is gone and the damage done.

Ticks will "parachute on you or drop from above but mostly they get on the end of the leaf/stem/blade etc where they wave some of their 8 legs when they feel a vibration one would suppose and catch you when you brush past. I've watched this and it's creapy! You can use hiking poles to fend or brush off vegetation hanging into the trail. I've been doing it for so long it has become second nature; another good use for poles.

A personal solution for both ticks and chiggers which has been flawless:
. Repellent "gaiters" which are simply cotton sweatsocks with the feet cut out. These are treated thoroughly with permethrin. Treatment evidently lasts at least a year.
. Repellent waist band made by cutting band from cheapo sweat shorts and also treated with permethrin
. Buzz-off type trousers ( I only take this step when the insect population is rampant( actually they are both arachnids by the way. That's right those blood suckers are really spiders. Supposedly you are never more than a few feet from some type of spider ANYWHERE on earth even the summit of Everest.... not sure about the Oceans )
. A Bandana with one side marked and treated. becomes a cap cape with the treated side exposed. I guess you could buy a hat "cape" and do the same. Again this is only a resort during the "peak" season especially when the yellow or deer flies are active.
. A long sleeve shirt like a Mt.Hardware canyon shirt with the cape back lightly treated with permethrin.

Nothing in this outfit touches my skin ( I wear a light tee shirt under the canyon shirt) even though permethrin is evidently very safe. I avoid deet if at all possible. I just keep this all together in a bag and when it's time for a walk in the woods slip the gaiters on over my socks and pull the waistband up over the trousers. Also I guess the elevations I'm hiking when in the eastern mountains are high enouth that this isn't a problem

I can't really figure out a set-up for shorts though you might treat a pair of really nice tennis head bands and pull 'em up over your thighs. Just seems more trouble than it's worth when trousers work fine.
The permethrin treatment definitely lasts for at least a full year. I'm going into year 2 with the trousers. Also really seems to keep the flying insects at bay but haven't run into any real swarms.

Happy Trails!

Richard Sullivan
(richard.s) - MLife

Locale: Supernatural BC
Doxycycline prophylaxis on 07/07/2010 11:36:54 MDT Print View

So if I find a black-legged tick feeding on me (yes we have them here on Vancouver Island) then why wouldn't I just self-medicate with Doxycycline?? Seems like the prudent thing to do. Then go and get tested when I get back to civilization.

Richard Sullivan
(richard.s) - MLife

Locale: Supernatural BC
Under Our Skin - Lyme Disease film on 07/07/2010 11:46:05 MDT Print View

There is an excellent film about Lyme Disease called Under Our Skin. Unfortunately there doesn't yet seem to be any option for obtaining private copies.

Shame on the IDSA!

Ben Crowell
(bcrowell) - F

Locale: Southern California
Re: Doxycycline prophylaxis on 07/07/2010 11:57:10 MDT Print View

"So if I find a black-legged tick feeding on me (yes we have them here on Vancouver Island) then why wouldn't I just self-medicate with Doxycycline?? Seems like the prudent thing to do. Then go and get tested when I get back to civilization."
Several reasons not to do this:

(a) Using antibiotics indiscriminately is antisocial behavior. It leads to the evolution of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.

(b) Although cases of Lyme disease do get reported in BC, the disease is only really prevalent in the east: (see fig. 2). Cases reported in the west may be from people who live in the west but acquired the disease in the east.

(c) You can't get doxycycline without a prescription.

(d) From the WP article on Rocky Mountain spotted fever: "Preventive therapy in non-ill patients who have had recent tick bites is not recommended and may, in fact, only delay the onset of disease." If the tick gave you RMSF, you could actually be harming your health by masking the symptoms.

Richard Sullivan
(richard.s) - MLife

Locale: Supernatural BC
Re: Re: Doxycycline prophylaxis on 07/07/2010 12:18:53 MDT Print View

Antisocial? No, but medically irresponsible. Doctors should not be handing out antibiotics to people with viruses, that we know well. The greater issue is that people should not stop taking an antibiotic just because they feel well enough to stop. This is what creates resistant strains, when the treatment is incomplete enough to kill the most resistant organisms! However, if I am in the wilderness, get a tick bite, and cannot get treatment within 72 hours, then I should dose prophylactically. The first 24 hours is the most critical IIRC.

From the site you mentioned - "Surveillance by the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control suggests that established populations of I. pacificus and areas where B. burgdorferi is endemic are widely distributed in southern British Columbia."

(c and d are not relevant to my question)