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Tick Alert!

Just got back from the doctor’s after a blood test and it turns out I’m positive for Lyme Borreliosis:

I now have to take antibiotics for almost 3 weeks. I picked up the tick exactly 2 weeks ago on Plabutsch, which is just outside of Graz. What is important to note is that my case was highly asymptomatic: there was no large bullseye rash, just a very itchy bite mark and a persistent dull headache. Thankfully, I’m fully immunised against tick borne encephalitis. The lesson here is simple, if you spend long enough in the mountains, the chances of you picking up something nasty go up considerably. I’m very glad I went for the blood test, even though the symptoms were quite minor. Stay safe!
73 de OE6FEG
Matt

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Thanks for the heads up, Matt.
I wish you a full, fast and smooth recovery.
73,

Guru

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Stay well Matt ! I learn something new everyday. I thought it was Just Scotland and India where you got eaten alive.

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sorry to hear that Matt, hope you make a speedy and full recovery.

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I wish you a fast recovery.
I have also a FSME vaccination, I strongly recommend this for everyone in tick infested areas.
After being in the outdoors one should check complete body and remove ticks with appropriate tool, no alcohol or any other chemical use to remove it.

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All the best on a speedy recovery. I’m on tick red alert at the moment after finding one on my dog after last weekends activations. I carry a tick remover and would recommended to anyone who goes outdoors. If worst come to worst my GoOutdoors discount card has a thin slot cut into it on one corner as a make shift remover

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I also always carry a tick remover tool on my activations, but didn’t know you could get vaccinated against it. I guess you can get vaccinated against this in the UK, although I have not heard it mentioned before.

73’s
David

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Wishing you a good and complete recovery, Matt!

Having done the vaccination is one of this type “Oh, why hadn’t I this done?” in case you need it. We have to consider here in HB9 this FSME disease that can be vaccinated and the Borreliose disease that one cannot vaccinate but have, say, enough time to take countermeasures according to my doc. Had a tick bite last year spotting an indifferent type of red circle. The blood test was negative but very expensive.

So let’s enjoy the summits without these nasty little things! A tick remove tool is always in my SOTA backpack.

Vy 73 de Markus, HB9DIZ

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Thanks for all the messages of support. My symptoms are not too servere at the moment, although they have gotten worse today; it seems the incubation period is two weeks. Just headache, dizzyness and a mild fever at the moment. Tick borne encephalitis does not seem to be a problem in the UK, but here in Austria there is a big awareness program. I’m actually due for my booster this year. Can’t really emphasize how lucky I was to get a blood test less than 7 days after getting bitten. Funnily enough, the place where I saw the most ticks in one go was in Snowdonia in Wales. We walked through one particular field and my legs were literally covered in ticks. I brushed as many off as possible, but I still had several attached when I got back to the hut. Thankfully, there were no ill effects that time. If you’re planning on activating in continental Europe, you are strongly advised to get vaccinated.
73 Matt

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The big problem is that ticks can carry Lyme disease even when in the nymph stage of the life cycle. At that stage, ticks are the size of a speck of spot.

I never where shorts, and always tuck my trousers into socks. I have also sprayed clothing with permethrin (an insecticide ) and deet. I am somewhat paranoid about it.

Of course, the insecticides lead to a range of other potential health problems…you just can’t win!

I understood that the blood test is not terribly good at picking up the disease… especially if the test is taken less than a few weeks after the tick bite.

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The problem with the blood test is not just unreliability in the early stages, 5-20% of people already have antibodies to the disease. Fortunately, I have been tested before and came up negative, so I know I really have the disease. The bloodtest is not expensive here and is conducted on a regular basis due to the sheer number of tick bites in Styria.
73

Hi Matt,

Keep strong !
See you soon on the frequencies !

73, Jarek

I was bit by a tick in 2019 after Friedrichshaffen while in Switzerland doing an activation.

Once back in Cal, I went on the antibiotic course. One of the side effects to the meds is reduced tolerance to UV.

Aware of this, I bundled up while doing some activations up at 11,000 ft in sunny California.

Half way up a peak on the second day, my thumb was bothering me. At first I thought it was repetitive stress related and just figured it would go away. Next day it was even worst.

Unbeknownst to me but rather obvious later is my cycling, fingerless gloves had done the obvious and allowed my thumb to become sunburnt. It was made all the worst by holding my hiking poles with the top of my thumb facing straight up at the bright California sun.

The thumb was tender for weeks, maybe 4-6.

Second time I’ve been bit by a tick and the other was on a SOTA activation in PEI, Canada 12 months earlier.

Paul
W6PNG

Here in the North-East USA its also worth noting that Ticks carry plenty of other nasty diseases… so.
Personally, when I have found a tick embedded I just go to the Doctor the next day and “demand” antibiotics… on the basis that is the easiest way for them … they seem to agree and I get the medicine no problem.
I treat my gear with Permethin every 6 weeks

Just to be clear, Lyme disease is NOT the worst thing that can come from a tick bite!

RJ

In Austria there seem to be many ticks around this year :spider: despite the long winter.
I picked definitely more than 15 from my legs yesterday. Fortunately no bite. I was able to spot them very quickly on my legs with only wearing short trousers this day. What is also good: These ticks seem to wander around quite for a bit of time on your body. An hour after the “incident” i picked another two from the upper leg and one from my arm. At home in the shower i found another one on the lower leg (probably hid in the socks) and we found one crawling on my back. She only had three (still crawling) in total.

I think the key here was to think early :clock2: about where ticks could have been and then just look at your legs :leg: and arms :muscle: for a first quick check after you crossed knee high bush patches :ear_of_rice: :herb:.

:heavy_minus_sign:

Other tick stories:

Plenty of years ago i crawled through a cave and almost saw the ticks jumping on me. (First i thought it was just dirt on my skin, but then the dirt moved :scream:) Right after i left the cave I counted 10 on my forearms and a few on my legs. A thorough search at home revealed another one, and one bit me several days later on a - lets say - difficult to reach part of my body :wink:.

About three years after that a single tick attached itself to my lower leg. I removed it quickly just with my fingernails. Everything seemed fine. At least two weeks after that the part on the leg started to get slightly swollen and red. First i didn’t think about the tick, as there also were no characteristic “rings” around the bite and went to a doctor, who immediately suspected that this must have come from a tick carrying the Lyme borreliosis disease (or some other phototoxic reaction in combination with another bacteria) So we didn’t a blood test. In any case i would need antibiotics, So i got them and everything was fine again after two weeks :smiley:.

:one: After all: From the many many tick bites i got in my life already: only one of them made problems so far, and i am very happy that we can get vaccinated every few years against FSME/TBE.

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The doctor warned me that I would need to cover up completely whilst I’m taking the antibiotics, but I must say, I would have probably forgotten my hands. I’ll be sure to slap on plenty of suncream.

For the moment, I am playing with kits at home. I have reworked a SOTABEAMS Pico tuner, so that it works on 30m, rather than 40m. I have replaced the battery in my JBL Flip 2. I’ll probably dig out my Tiny SWR this afternoon and see about getting that aligned an installed in the MTR3b.
73 Matt

Two years ago, we moved to G/LD and within a week both our cats each had about ten ticks on them. We took our cats and dogs to the vet (who said this area is “tick central”) for back-of-the-neck treatment and since then, with regular use, the ticks always die on them. The vet said, some local people use the animal treatment even through it’s not meant for humans.

After two SOTA activations I’ve found a tick nose-dived into my flesh, one my belly and the other near my knee, which was scary for the next month or so waiting to see if the tell-tale red rings appeared or not.

I spoke to an old man [even older than me] on my local summit G/LD-058 who had to be treated with antibiotics because a local tick gave him Lyme disease. Moral: check yourself after the descent and before you drive home.

Lake District Chronicle headline May 2021

Man arrested for flashing and exposure in walker’s car park.

Police said the man claimed he was searching for ticks after a hill walk and it was a complete coincidence The Goole & District Ladies River Wideners minibus parked by him whilst he was naked. A police source said he had been released on police bail to appear in Kendal Magistrates Court in June.

:wink:

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Well this has absolutely terrified me, cheers everyone! :slight_smile:

I never even consider this and I go out solo so can’t check everywhere and I’ll worry I’ll think any symptoms are other things I already have.

I was attacked by tick one year ago during my trip to lost coast area in Northern California. As found it next morning, went to urgent care and micro-surgery was performed to remove it. I also was vaccinated against Lyme disease. Be careful and check your body for possible ticks after activation in woody area this time of the year.