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Disease carried by ticks

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2010/5/28 0:25
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A friend stopped by today, and we talked about my son's condition. He told me a story about a "mystery disease" that a friend of a friend contracted. I don't know how long ago this happened (will find out), but someone came from Atlanta (I think it was someone from CDC) to look at blood cultures, etc. Some symptoms were similar to my son's. I never heard of this before:

https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/babesiosis/index.html

Posted on: 2/11 16:22


Re: Disease carried by ticks

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2007/10/7 0:44
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I had babesiosis. It is pretty crazy stuff.
I got it from the same type of tick that luckier people get Lyme from.

If the deer tick bites and holds on,you can get Lyme ,if it bites and let’s go,you can get babesiosis.

Trust me you don’t want babesiosis!

Think of it as malaria. It is basically North American maleria,complete with hallucinations brought on by the severe fever.

Then,your organs start to shut down. .

I have had cancer,heart attacks and heart failure. They are nothing compared to babesiosis.

I was susceptible because I don’t have a spleen.

Anybody that suspects they have it,go get your blood tested right away. The parasite makes your blood cells look like they have an iron cross marking.

There is good news: the anti parasite medicine they treat you with tastes fantastic!

Posted on: 2/11 17:58


Re: Disease carried by ticks

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That is scary stuff.

Posted on: 2/11 20:18
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Re: Disease carried by ticks

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It is a nasty parasite!

Fortunately,if treated soon enough,there are no lasting effects.

I am more careful in the woods than ever.

Posted on: 2/11 20:40


Re: Disease carried by ticks

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2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
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Probably the most importantly useful post on this site in a long time.
(Not that the rest aren't fun)

Posted on: 2/11 22:48


Re: Disease carried by ticks

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2007/10/7 0:44
From philadelphia
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Yes,important stuff.

Outdoorsmen should familiarize themselves with the symptoms.
Flu like symptoms,weakness,fever,dark urine and general weakness.

Don’t mess with it,go to a doctor.
People do die from it ,every year.

Being a tough guy and not going to the hospital doesn’t keep your organs going.

Posted on: 2/12 17:09


Re: Disease carried by ticks

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2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
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Flu like symptoms,weakness,fever,dark urine and general weakness.

crap, i think i was bitten by a tick the last three jams cuz i felt like that every morning.

Posted on: 2/12 17:28


Re: Disease carried by ticks

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2009/2/13 4:12
From West Chester,PA
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I keep on top of Lyme and tick related diseases.
Recent research shows that approximately 25 to 30% of ticks carrying Lyme ,also carry some other type of tick borne disease.
So without freaking everyone out,my advice is that ,if you finish a course of Doxy ,and you still don't feel right,go to an infectious disease doctor ASAP
IMO most GPs are ill equipped to deal with tick related diseases

Posted on: 2/13 9:44
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Re: Disease carried by ticks

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Had a bout with lyme this summer and I fully agree with AFISHN's last sentence.

I finished a course of doxy, felt fine after about 10 days on that drug. But a week after I finished the 21-day course, mild symptoms returned. My PCP put me on more doxy, though was skeptical that the lyme bacteria could have survived that long if I had properly taken the medication (which I had). On the second round of doxy, the symptoms did not go away, but they also did not worsen, so I went to see a specialist.

The specialist informed me that there has been a lot of new information discovered about Lyme and there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that Lyme can survive more than ten days on the antibiotic, if it is caught early (as mine was). However there are similar tick-borne illnesses that can take slightly longer to treat, but the 21-day treatment is more than sufficient for all of them as well.

What happens sometimes is when the bacteria is killed off by the antibiotic, it produces a toxin which can make you feel like you are still sick. These after-effects are highly variable in intensity and how long they linger. It can last up to 6 months. So my second round of doxy wasn't reducing my symptoms because the first round had already killed the bacteria, and the current symptoms were just the after-effects. The specialist did not give me any more drugs and told me to call if anything got worse. A week later I felt completely normal and have been perfectly fine ever since!

The specialist knew exactly what was going on, while the PCP wanted to run more tests for various other illnesses and put me on additional meds to alleviate some of the symptoms (which I didn't feel were bad enough to justify more drugs).

Edit to add: I never developed a bulls-eye rash and never had a positive test result for Lyme. Yet I was treated for Lyme, and it worked. Some of the bacteria that are very similar to what causes Lyme cannot be detected by standard Lyme tests and also do not produce the rash, so it is likely that I had one of these other infections rather than "standard" Lyme.

Posted on: 2/13 12:16
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Re: Disease carried by ticks

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Quote:

AFISHN wrote:
IMO most GPs are ill equipped to deal with tick related diseases


I'm not sure that any one is well equipped to deal with all tick related diseases. There are dozens of them. Some of the rickettsial ones don't even have names.

What's worse, some of them, like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (actual more common here in the East) take longer to fully diagnose than to kill you. Your GP pretty much has to guess, and to start treating you for something immediately.

Ticks are best avoided.

Posted on: 2/13 15:11
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Re: Disease carried by ticks

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2016/12/8 16:56
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All good information here. Some advise that one can follow is to always do your best to wear clothing that protects you from ticks. I always wear a long sleeve shirt, pants, and a wide brimmed hat when out in the woods. Unlike popular belief, ticks cannot jump, but rather they fall onto us when brushed off of leaves or disturbed from their current spots. After being outside, always check yourself for ticks, and make sure to look in intertriginous zones (places where skin folds) as these are places that ticks seem to like. If you can have someone check your hair, back, and other places that you can't see that's ideal, otherwise use a mirror to take a look.

If you are bitten by a tick, remove it with a pair of tweezers by pinging with firm pressure as close to the skin as possible. Don't rip it out, as you may leave the head or other parts behind. By applying firm pressure the tick will release itself and you can pull it out. Don't worry about squeezing the tick or bad things into you either. That is also a misnomer. It takes 36 hours of a tick to transfer the bacteria that causes lyme disease, so if you can remove the tick within that time frame you shouldn't need antibiotics. Lyme disease is definitely the most common of the tick-borne illnesses, but some of the others (anaplasmosis, erlichiosis, babesiosis, etc.) as mentioned above may be transmitted sooner than this 36 hours.

If you have any concerns that you may have contracted one of these, I'll just repeat what has been said, definitely see your doctor. Most are curable with a course of doxycycline, but others (such as babesiosis) require a different antibiotic. The CDC has some good information out there on tick-borne illnesses and their symptoms and treatments, although it is in a slightly more scientific language. If you are looking for a tick-borne illness specialist, you should ask your primary care provider to refer you to an infectious disease doctor. Early treatment is the best course here too. Using lyme disease (the most prevalent that we deal with here in PA) as an example, there are some complications that can arise, such as muscle aches, heart problems, and Bell's Palsy (loss of muscle tone/facial droop on one or both sides of the face) if it goes untreated. Some of these do resolve, and some may not. The scientific literature is still equivocal on some of this.

So to make a very long story short, make sure you protect yourself when you're out, check yourself when you get home, be familiar with signs/symptoms of common tick-borne illnesses, and visit your doctor if you have any questions!

Posted on: 2/13 16:32


Re: Disease carried by ticks

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2008/12/14 11:31
From South Central PA
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My wife is being treated currently for Babesia, with about 7 different drugs. Very, very serious.

Posted on: 2/13 17:10


Re: Disease carried by ticks

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Great advice, I'll add this:

1) the person I was talking about did not have a spleen, which I understand lowers your immunity.

2) It was a doctor from CDC who came to Reading last June to gather information about the patient and I think help with treatment.

3) If you remove a tick, kill it and put it into a zip-lock sandwich bag. I had to fish a tick out of a toilet one time so the doctor could confirm it was a tick. (I knew it was).

4) Wearing protective clothing is fine. Ticks have barbules on their legs, which is how they attach to something. Best advice is a thorough body and clothing check when you get home. Deer ticks are sooo small.

5) Don't assume. A few years ago I went into the basement to put gear away that I wore that day. Found a tick crawling across the floor. One could be in your vehicle after being outdoors.

Posted on: 2/13 17:28
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Re: Disease carried by ticks

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Great advice, I'll add this:

1) the person I was talking about did not have a spleen, which I understand lowers your immunity.

2) It was a doctor from CDC who came to Reading last June to gather information about the patient and I think help with treatment.

3) If you remove a tick, kill it and put it into a zip-lock sandwich bag. I had to fish a tick out of a toilet one time so the doctor could confirm it was a tick. (I knew it was).

4) Wearing protective clothing is fine. Ticks have barbules on their legs, which is how they attach to something. Best advice is a thorough body and clothing check when you get home. Deer ticks are sooo small.

5) Don't assume. A few years ago I went into the basement to put gear away that I wore that day. Found a tick crawling across the floor. One could be in your vehicle after being outdoors.

Edit add one more thing: When my son and I are done fishing, we check our gear, clothing, and exposed areas BEFORE we enter our vehicle. Usually not an appropriate thing to do a full body check. Guess it might offend someone if we stripped butt-naked at a parking area.

Posted on: 2/13 17:29

Edited by outsider on 2018/2/13 17:47:02
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Re: Disease carried by ticks

Joined:
2016/12/8 16:56
From Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 40
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Quote:

1) the person I was talking about did not have a spleen, which I understand lowers your immunity.

3) If you remove a tick, kill it and put it into a zip-lock sandwich bag. I had to fish a tick out of a toilet one time so the doctor could confirm it was a tick. (I knew it was).

5) Don't assume. A few years ago I went into the basement to put gear away that I wore that day. Found a tick crawling across the floor. One could be in your vehicle after being outdoors.


All great additions to the advice outsider! Lacking a spleen makes it harder for your body to fight encapsulated bacteria (some that cause pneumonia and meningitis), and bacteria that live within red blood cells (like with babesiosis and anaplasmosis). Doctors sometimes want to see the tick because specific species of ticks carry these different tick-borne illnesses. And I love your last one! Ticks are incredibly resilient and small, and will hide out anywhere they can hitch a ride, so always check your gear and car too!

Posted on: 2/13 17:50



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