Tick-borne diseases hardly anyone has heard of

8:24 p.m. on March 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Like most people who spend a lot of time outdoors, I have picked a few ticks off of and out of my hide. And I picked hundreds (literally) of ticks off the dogs we had when I was a kid (that happens when you grow up in a rural area). So far, I haven't gotten any diseases from these ticks (that I know of). I was familiar with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (which is not confined to the Rockies) and Lyme disease (we have it here in California, mostly the Marin Peninsula and further north).

But what do you know about babesiosis, ehrlichisiosis, anaplasmosis, STARI, rickettsiosis, or "Stage 4 Lyme disease"?

A number of these tick-borne diseases are fatal in a high percentage of cases, yet are almost unknown in the medical community. In part, this is because the infection rate has increased so rapidly in the past 10 or so years. The reason for this increase is thought to be because the growth in population has been so great, with a resulting push into the habitat that supports the ticks (deer in the case of Lyme), and the creation of friendly habitat for the deer and other critters (nice expanses of lawn, backyard gardens to feed the deer, and so on)

Here is an article on the ticks -

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41973641/ns/health-infectious_diseases/

8:53 p.m. on March 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks for the link Bill, that was a good read.

Just when I thought it was safe to go in the woods again.

You know, it is real easy to talk about the larger threats out there whether real or imagined, just to have something like mosquitoes or ticks do you in.

I have a friend I work with who has hunted in Alaska, he says they went there prepared to defend themselves against Grizzlies, only to run around in camp to get relief from the skeeters.

buh-BEE-zee-osis

 

4:53 p.m. on March 14, 2011 (EDT)
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I hate ticks!  Nothing weirder than asking your bud to groom your backside, like a troop of monkeys, especially when third parties pass by, strike worried glances, then speed away.

So the question beckons:

I am about to go into tick country, and wondered if a 9mm glock was sufficient for protection...

Ed

5:54 p.m. on March 14, 2011 (EDT)
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I am about to go into tick country, and wondered if a 9mm glock was sufficient for protection...

Ed

He he... I usually carry a small flamethrower.  Bugs are such a irritation.  It is no small wonder that the fly gets such evil/satanic billing in all sorts of mythological/religious writings.

A moments grooming saves me a week on my back?  I'll take the humiliation any day!  This is a(nother) reason why you should always hike with your spouse/significant other... tick check is always the high point of the evening. :D

5:59 p.m. on March 14, 2011 (EDT)
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Anyone who wants me to check their backside is gonna need a firearm Ed. :)

Edit: I mean to get me to do it. Haha.

3:47 p.m. on March 15, 2011 (EDT)
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Lyme disease is a problem in my area and the ticks are bad here in Germany. I know this guy in my town who started have blurry eye sight and felt faint all the time. The doctor told him he had lyme disease-he was always hiking in the woods here and picking off ticks. Oh, make sure you get the whole head of the tick or it just keeps sucking after the body is removed-yuck.

5:25 p.m. on March 16, 2011 (EDT)
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I am about to go into tick country, and wondered if a 9mm glock was sufficient for protection...

Ed

I think 9 um ought to do the trick...

I have discovered ticks on one of the more unwelcome places imaginable (among men) not once, but twice, first time in tropical Australia, then some years later in Costa Rica. That first time I was pulled over by the side of the road with some buddies for a group pee. Quite a little dance number from the moment of discovery to eventual removal. Sort of like La Cucaracha, only with tweezers instead of castanets...

4:23 a.m. on March 17, 2011 (EDT)
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So BigRed, you'd use a 9mm glock for your tick problem????!!!!
Ed

6:09 p.m. on March 17, 2011 (EDT)
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9 micron, maybe...

7:39 p.m. on March 17, 2011 (EDT)
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Guns? In a tick thread? Seriously?

 

5:30 a.m. on March 18, 2011 (EDT)
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Guns are useless against ticks. Your best bet is a tiny, tiny can of pepper spray but even then, what if it is near your eye? You can try and outrun them but once they have your scent, they can track you for miles and it's back to square one. Best bet, if you don't have the tiny spray can, is just backing away slowly, talking in a soft voice (about anything - they won't understand) and then when the tick is out of sight, run for the nearest river to make him lose your scent.

 

Seriously though, read up on it if you are going to be in tick country. Don't use the petroleum jelly, burning match or even tweezers method (they often leave the head buried). It is important not to have the tick vomit its crap into your skin, so you need to remove it properly and there are inexpensive tools available nowadays. We have used lots of different types of tick remover and find the small tick twisters work most times but sometimes the lasso-wire ones are the only ones that can get the smallest critters. Over the last ten years, I've had hundreds of ticks on my clothes and skin: a few dozen needed removing, about ten had been there for a day or more.

9:13 a.m. on March 18, 2011 (EDT)
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Guns? In a tick thread? Seriously?

 

 Lack of a sense of humor? In an online forum? Seriously?

;)

Kidding aside, I think it's pretty clear those comments were completely good natured and in pure jest. I would think specifically humorous and apropos, in light of the recent discussion thread.

1:20 p.m. on March 18, 2011 (EDT)
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Guns are useless against ticks. Your best bet is a tiny, tiny can of pepper spray but even then, what if it is near your eye? 

Forget your eye. Try squirting some pepper spray down your pants -- that's where ticks like to go...

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