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Staying Healthy on the Road Medical info, e.g. malaria, vaccinations, travel medical tips, medical insurance, where to find a doctor.
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Old 21 Apr 2006
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Thanks. Seems like a good tip. Now what was the French word for tick again?

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Old 24 Jan 2007
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I first heard of these little blighters a few years ago when I picked up a

leaflet at a outdoor show. Their website is worth a visit

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Old 4 Feb 2007
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Originally Posted by oldbmw
If you go to any pet shop in France you can get a pair of tools for removing ticks of various sizes for about a euro. They look like little plastic 'wrecking bars' you just slide the forked bit between the tick and skin and rotate it ccw. the tick just comes away. My cats often get them, although Frontline is supposed to prevent this happening.
this is the only efective way of removing a tick.
vaseline and burning are something of an urban legend, it doesn't work
If you can't get hold of proper tick removers then tweezers will do, but the trick is to push the tweezers down the body of the tick, indenting the skin, before gripping so you hold as much of it as possible, to try and avoid snapping the head off. I wastold the anticlockwise trick by a special forces guy, but was recently told, in the emergency dept, that is also not really true, just pull gently!!
tics are particularly common in areas where sheep graze and have even made it over to england. limes disease is really rather nasty but as above can be treated with antibiotics. whilst applying a topical antibiotic cream may seem to be a good idea, straight on the infection site and all that the reality is rather different. antibiotics work by being absorbed into your body system, and this is best achieved by tablets. the take up fromtopical antibiotics is poor, the exception being drops for eyes and ears which are very effective.
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Old 19 Mar 2007
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For what it's worth

As stated you do not want to suffocate the tick, or burn them as some say to do. Anytime something dies, the muscles relax, so anything in the stomach or bladder will be released, possibly causing an infection. There are a number of tick "pliers" out there to remove them safely. The Deer tick is the one that carries Lyme disease and is extremely small, so more than likely you will not see it at all. But, as stated you will develop a rash and flu like symptoms.

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Old 24 Feb 2009
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after reading all of that I'm sitting in my lounge, with an itch in my crutch.

So much for wanting to camp out for my next 10 day stint in 2 weeks.

I'm going to anyway, and I'm going to get my Tick shot now, before I go, cause you've all made me worry about it. But the last time I had a tick shot, I must have been 5 and today im 35. So where is all the fuss. I've even lived in Africa, I think it's all a bit of cod if you ask me.
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Old 24 Feb 2009
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Tick shot? Whassat?

I have had formerly-active friends disabled by Lyme arthritis, so I am confident this is something to take seriously. The good news is that most of us were *not* disabled, despite living, working and playing in the Lyme-infested New England woods during the era when not much was known about the disease, its treatment, or its effects.

When I'm back in that area during tick season, I do check myself routinely for ticks. My technique for removal consists of grabbing with fingernails, including a bit of skin, and yanking firmly; no squashing, no pinching, no counter-clockwise anything. Best, of course, if you get rid of them before they embed; they're slow to take up residence, so there's a good window of opportunity.

Happy camping to all!

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Old 24 Feb 2009
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Tick talk

Years ago after sleeping out in a sleeping bag in the forest of Germany just over the border from Basel ie the Black Forest, I got a tick in my groin. The doctor took it very seriously. She removed it with tweezers and impressed upon me the importance of coming back if I had headaches within next five days. It is not a joking matter. I'd been warned about same risk years before near Vienna, again in deciduous forest. It held on for dear life! Linzi.
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Old 24 Feb 2009
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Exclamation Lyme's disease. tell-tale signs

One very clear sign of a bite from such a Lyme's disease vector is a red halo or ring around the bite. This usually develops in the next few days after the bite (which you may not have noticed).

The area around the bite may also be blueish, but the red ring should still be present with a Lyme's disease antigen exposure, and this is the give away.

NB This does not last long: only another couple of days. After that non-descript symptoms develop which can be hard to diagnose, especially if you are unaware that you were bitten by a tick in the first place.

So if you find an insect bite and what seems to be a red ring around it like a "bullseye" target type thing, go and see a doctor to get a blood test done. Treatment is about 1 month of antibiotics until blood parameters return to normal, but note that follow up can last 6 months with more blood tests to track your recovery.

In a nutshell, when travelling, it's a good idea to check yourself daily: not just for tick bites but just to know what general condition you are in, if you know what I mean...
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Old 25 Feb 2009
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The tick removing tool looks like this:

and should be available from pretty much any pet-shop or vets anywhere in the world there's ticks I'd guess. I've not had one, but my cats do get them, and it's very easy to use (on a wiggling, hissing, spitting cat) so I imagine it'd be even easier to use on a human.
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Old 25 Feb 2009
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Originally Posted by beddhist View Post
Sorry, but the advice I just got from my father (veterinarian) is that suffocating the tick is not recommended. As it dies it "vomits" and thereby gives the victim another big dose of whatever germs it may carry. Use tweezers to twist and turn it out carefully, without squeezing its body and without tearing off its head. Otherwise, seek medical assistance.
We get lots of ticks in Denmark and this is how we remove them, especially off pets wo get lots of them.

You get ticks in ANY grass and not just long grass so be careful when camping.

If you get an itch, check it before scratching because it may not be a mozzie bite it could be a tick.

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Old 25 Feb 2009
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Amazing coincidence.
I got back from my Doctors surgery an hour ago with a leaflet about Tick-borne Encephalitis and saw this thread.

"1 in 100 patients will die from it"

"It is transmitted to humans via bites from an infected ixodes tick. Less commonly from drinking unpasturised milk from infected animals."

"Tick-borne Enceophalitis occurs in the far eastern part of the former USSR (my immediate concern) extending into China. It can also be found in European Russia, Austria, Hungary, the Balkans, Czech Republic, Slovakia ans Scandinavia where it is mainly a disease of the forest."

It seems it has to be a certain type of tick. It has to be infected. It has to be in an endemic area - and mainly a forest within it.

Vaccination is a course of 2 or 3 injections a month apart. In UK not NHS. Only from specialised travel medical centres. Cost £64

Tick-borne Encephalitis
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Old 25 Feb 2009
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I do a lot of mountain biking,and in the uk over the last few years mountain bikers have been getting bitten by ticks more often.I try and cover myself up to stop getting bitten,so far this approach has worked but if I do get bitten I've invested in the tick removers just like the ones in the earlier post.
They only cost a few pounds and arrived in a few days, have a look here www.tick-twister.com
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Old 5 Apr 2009
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Don't camp, use DEET and permethrin, get your shots, remove with tweezers

Chapter 4 - Tickborne Encephalitis - Yellow Book | CDC Travelers' Health

Travelers can reduce their risk of TBEV infection by avoiding exposure to woodland habitats in endemic countries during the spring and summer when ticks are active, and by avoiding unpasteurized dairy products. They can also protect themselves from tick bites by wearing clothing with long sleeves and taping trouser legs or tucking them into socks or shoes. Clothing and camping gear can be treated with products containing permethrin, which repels and kills ticks. Permethrin can be used in concert with products containing N,N-diethylmetatoluamide (DEET), which can be applied to clothing and exposed skinTravelers to tick-infested areas should also inspect their bodies and clothing daily for ticks and promptly remove them with tweezers or forceps.

No TBE vaccines are licensed or available in the United States. Two equivalent, safe, and effective inactivated TBE vaccines are available in Europe, in adult and pediatric formulations: FSME-IMMUN (Baxter Vaccine AG, Vienna, Austria) and Encepur (Chiron Vaccines, Marburg, Germany).

Because the primary tick vectors of TBEV in Europe and Asia are also the primary vectors of Lyme borreliosis and ehrlichiosis in those areas, persons vaccinated against TBEV should continue to take tick-bite precautions when in tick habitat.
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Old 5 Apr 2009
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This thread is following my every move!

After a gap of 2 years it crops up within an hour on the very day I enquired at my UK GP's surgery.

Yesterday I had the first vaccination jab for the TBE prior to my jaunt in Eastern Siberia this summer.

In UK it is not on NHS and BA Travel Centre wanted GBP64 for 2 injections. It was considerably cheaper in Russia where I was offered the option of a local Russian vaccine at 600 rouble or an Austrian one for 1000 rouble (12 and 20 GBP respectivley) for each injection. I chose Austrian and bought a second dose to do myself next month. I'll get the third on my ride back. Thats a good few s en route paid for!

They said two injections should be 1 to 3 month apart with the second at least 2 weeks before entering a danger area. This gives a years immunity. A third injection 9 months after the first one boosts this to 3 years. Then one dose every 3 years maintains immunity.

The two charming Babushski Doctors were specialists in immunology and vaccination and said not only is TBE prevalent in Siberia, but also now occurs in Scandinavia, Germany, Holland, Austria, Greece and is spreading west and south. Being bitten by a tick does not mean it passes the infection to you - it has to be a certain type of tick and it has to be carrying the infection itself.
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Old 6 Apr 2009
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The past month is the worst year I've seen for ticks in southern Spain. Even though my dogs are protected, I'm pulling out 3-12 a day off each dog. I've tried all ways to remove them and the best way I've found is with a pair of tweezers. Get as close to the skin as you can and pull very very gently. Then put the ticks in water - no matter how much you stamp on them, they keep going. When the ticks have fed and are large (full of blood) take care not to squeeze the body. Also check for smaller ticks at the same site as once they start feeding, they usually start breeding at the same spot.
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