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Author Topic: Deer Ticks and Lyme Disease - a Health Risk for us!  (Read 836 times)

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Online Deerslayer

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Deer Ticks and Lyme Disease - a Health Risk for us!
« on: May 23, 2015, 06:11:08 AM »
If you have not heard of deer ticks and Lyme disease, you should become aware of this problem. As modellers, we spend time in areas where there is exposure to the problem, particularly if we venture into the brush. As well, there are pets around at the field, which can carry the tick to you, into your yard or vehicle and into your home. At least one pet that I know of has been bitten.

During my annual medical, my doctor discussed this, as he is aware that I live and play in the countryside. He removes about a half dozen deer ticks from people per week! Studies show that about 20% of ticks carry the Lyme bacteria. He showed me a small item that he keeps on his keychain. I have ordered one each for several family members. It is available here:

http://www.leevalley.com/en/garden/page.aspx?cat=2,51555&p=67728


There are several fellow modellers whom I know that have suffered from varying degrees of Lyme disease. Fortunately, they recovered after some miserable and long weeks. I am appending a following segment of an article that a local resident supplied to our little newspaper. This individual has suffered extremely for perhaps 30 years, having contracted the disease long before it was recognized in this area. I will not go into details, but you do NOT want to experience ANY of this!


Here is the article (the author's name has been removed, but their effort to inform and warn others is greatly acknowledged and appreciated):

TICKS

 It is tick season, folks. The cold winter apparently didn't make any difference - if anything the snow cover provided insulation for the eggs. The 'deer ticks' or black-legged ticks carry the Lyme bacteria. They can overwinter or travel on migrating birds, or animals or on the pets of Snow Birds returning from the U.S.
 Walking in the woods or long grass increases the chance that one will hitch a ride on you. They'll wander about on your body for a bit, before deciding to dig in.
    ..... 
 Putting your pant legs inside socks, wearing a hat and long sleeves help somewhat too.
Check your body if you possibly can when you come in from an outing. Try to catch them before they penetrate your skin. If you find one, lift it out gently with a tick lifter - or anything that resembles a tiny fork. Slide it under the body and lift and twist gently. Don't use tweezers if possible, as that squeezes the mouth parts.
 Go to emergency services, with the tick in a clean container. Ask for the tick to be tested and for you to receive the results. (It might take months).
Urgently request a single oral antibiotic preventive dose. Within 48 hours that is deemed a sufficient preventative.
 Do not accept the suggestion that you wait for the 'bull's eye rash' that can result some days later. It is not a guaranteed diagnostic tool and waiting simply allows the bacteria to spread in your body.
***
Recent reports have suggested that the Black- Legged Tick may also be carrying the "Powassan virus. It's a rare condition that produces symptoms similar to Lyme disease, but more severe, and there's no cure. The disease can lead to encephalitis and
meningitis, and give you permanent neurological issues afterward. And it can act much more quickly than Lyme disease, giving you symptoms within
hours of being bitten by a tick." (Country Life)
 Don't panic. Not all ticks are black-legged ticks, and not all black-legs carry the virus. But take prevention seriously and take action if you find one embedded in your loved ones.
[Editor: despite continuing misinformation, a bull’s eye rash does not always appear when a tick infects a human with Lyme-causing bacteria.]
My purpose in Life is to serve as a Warning to others

Offline ganguy

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Re: Deer Ticks and Lyme Disease - a Health Risk for us!
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2015, 04:00:32 PM »
My wife was bitten last week, quickly raised a massive bulls eye due to improper removal and was immediately treated with the correct antibiotic. The removal tool is very important. The little buggers can really hang on/in. Prevention is also very important, not only physical, but use of spray - apparently the strongest DEET helps.
BTW, it was not at the KRCM field, but a public park east of Kingston. Apparently, dogs are not man's best friend.
GanGuy
Churchill said: "Success is a series of failures during which one does not lose enthusiasm!"

Online Deerslayer

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Re: Deer Ticks and Lyme Disease - a Health Risk for us!
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2016, 01:10:49 PM »
Another reminder!
On the weekend, my granddaughter picked up a tick, in some long grass while she was at the dirt track races in Brighton . She noticed it the next day, on her belly, and thought it was a spider. Fortunately, her dad realized it was not a spider and was probably one of these ticks. He took her to Emergency at their nearby hospital, where the tick was removed properly and sent away for analysis to determine if it carried the bacteria which causes Lyme Disease. The results will not be known for perhaps a month. Meanwhile, she will take some antibiotics 3 times a day for the next three weeks. This is an essential precaution, as you DO NOT take a chance on contracting Lyme Disease.

My wife's hairdresser got one of these things a year or so ago while gardening in Kingston. They are not just a concern of those who camp or spend time in the woods or who live in the country.

I still see people trotting out into the bush at our flying field wearing shorts, short sleeved shirts, etc. IF (when?) someone picks up one of these, remember that I carry a removal key with me. Better yet, go directly to the hospital - you will end up going there anyway, either to get the tick removed and analyzed or  possibly (hopefully not) to deal with some aspect of Lyme Disease if you are unfortunate.

This is NOT something to fool around with!
« Last Edit: June 06, 2016, 02:49:33 PM by Deerslayer »
My purpose in Life is to serve as a Warning to others

Online Deerslayer

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Re: Deer Ticks and Lyme Disease - a Health Risk for us!
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2017, 05:16:31 AM »
They're back already! Although we still had a bit of ice in our bay, we found our first deer tick for this year. The little cat that we "sponsor" and who lives who-knows-where, had a tiny tick on her that we noticed on her daily visit. We removed it with a deer tick key. This is one of several we have, including one that I keep on my key chain.

These things are now very common and easily transfered to pets, clothing and humans. Now that the weather is warming up, they will be more abundant and active.

Be aware! Especially at our flying field, if you contact any animals or go out into to bush to - you
 know - hunt down a missing model.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
P.S.
Something you probably did not know but will want to know:
A prehistoric tick was the inspiration for Jurassic Park!
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/04/tick-full-of-ancient-blood/521925/
« Last Edit: April 06, 2017, 11:39:46 AM by Deerslayer »
My purpose in Life is to serve as a Warning to others

Offline ganguy

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Re: Deer Ticks and Lyme Disease - a Health Risk for us!
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2017, 06:32:34 AM »
Good reminder.
I spend a lot of time in our bush, guess why, and there a lot of deer lies, but you know, I've never picked up one. If you go in, tuck in your socks and a good DEET spray helps. Also, light-coloured clothing.
 And a fun thing about ticks - get your significant other to check you all over (nude of course) when you get home!
Churchill said: "Success is a series of failures during which one does not lose enthusiasm!"