Panic Stations - Lyme Disease is it true
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Nov 28, 2012 11:39 AM Last Post By: mredman
Nov 27, 2012 5:15 AM
Panic Stations - Lyme Disease is it trueHello,
As most of you probably know I am planning on visiting Germany in May, June and July, but someone recently mentioned that Lyme disease is a big issue, particularly in the Black Forest, - where I had planned to spend a lot of time. So now I am completely stressed about the whole thing and have researched some on line stats and it looks very prevelant. They also mentioned FSME (I have no idea what this is) Evidently the summer period is the most troublesome time.
Am I stressing over nothing, or is this in fact true? I appreciate the information from the person who told me as I would rather know, but also want to know what others know.
I have read that Austria and Switzerland have the same issue, which were also places I wanted to visit, but from what I know about Lyme disease I don't really wish to take the risk if it is as prevalent as it seems.
Sorry I know this isn't along the normal topic lines, but very worried now.
Nov 27, 2012 5:44 AM
1FSME = TBE in English speaking countries
see this slightly older thread
though there are vaccines against TBE, I doubt it would be worth getting these for this trip alone, since you'll have to do the usual countermeasures anyway due to the Lyme disease - but if it's for the ease of mind, get in touch with your doctor.
don't let these nuisances spoil your trip!!!
p.s. just realised that a link from that other thread went missing: here it is - drop a line in case you need help with the content...
Nov 27, 2012 12:49 PM
2OP, don't panic. While the risk of getting bitten by a tick may be somewhat higher than that of being attacked by a homicidal tree, it is still not really significant, and not every tick carries TBE or Lyme disease.
If you are really worried, you can get the TBE vaccine now; if I remember correctly, the full effect is reached after two injections one or two months apart, so there's more than enough time before your trip (you will need booster injections every three to five years to maintain it).
Lyme disease is curable, as mentioned by Blandine and others, and it is believed that the pathogen is not passed from tick to human host before 24 or 48 hours of "attachment", so there is ample time to find the tick and get rid of it before it can do any harm.
Follow the advice in this and the other thread re: clothing and checking yourself everyday for ticks (especially the area around your ankles, behind the knees, under your arms + the groin), and keep a pair of tick removal tweezers in your washbag just in case; if you want to buy them in Germany, ask for a "Zeckenzange" at a chemist's (Apotheke).
Nov 27, 2012 12:55 PM
Nov 27, 2012 1:17 PM
4In my experience in tick infested areas, the ticks always head to the groin area to burrow. It takes them a long time to get there, so if you check yourself every evening you should be fine. I've removed over 50 of them at a time, and have yet to be bitten from those. However, I've had two simultaneous tick burrowings on my leg in my groin area from a "tick-free" area in which I didn't check myself. I also would avoid going beneath isolated trees and bushes in areas in which wild or domesticated animals frequent, as the ticks like to climb them and drop down on their prey. They're a poor place to select for eating your lunch!!!!
Nov 27, 2012 5:59 PM
5Thank you for all your replies,I am wondering if I should visit Germany in winter, are the ticks still prevalent then?
Nov 27, 2012 11:34 PM
6Ticks aren't active in winter, but even in summer you can go hiking without getting bit Just don't walk through grass wearing shorts and sandals - or if you do, check your body closely afterwards. If you stay on the trails, chances are extremely low you'll catch a tick.
Wear light ( colour white or light grey) clothes, just so that you see them more easily.
In case you discover a tick on your body and it has already started to suck blood, you can still get a shot against TBE. It the tick is still crawling, it's not dangerous.
Lyme disease can be treated by antibiotics.Keep checking for a bull's eye, if you don't see anything after a week, most probably you haven't been infected.To be 100% sure, you can get your blood tested.
Nov 28, 2012 12:22 AM
Nov 28, 2012 12:40 AM
Thank you all so much for putting up with this question on this thread and putting my mind at ease a little. I wanted to ask a few more specific questions if that’s okay?
1. Are ticks more active in summer? What about spring or autumn/fall?
2. Is there are particular month that they are most prevalent?
3. One of my concerns is that unlike MrRedman (You must have good friends ) I will be travelling alone, so am worried I could miss one in places I can’t see eg my back. How can I ensure that I have thoroughly checked myself for ticks, especially when they are so small?
4. Will I know if I have been bitten by a tick? Will it be itchy or sore?
5. A lot of websites tell you to stay away from areas where there are animals; does this mean I shouldn’t go to wildlife parks?
6. I planned on doing some horseback trekking through the forest whilst there, but will this put me at increased risk? Due to rubbing against trees, foliage and also being on a horse?
7. I also wanted to do some farm stays while I am there, is this risky too? Do ticks find their way into people’s homes?
Well I think that is all for now, these questions have been running through my head all day, as really disappointed at the thought of not going.
I am sorry to bug you all with these questions, but I have heard such horror stories about Lyme disease and how it ruins lives, so am a little bit paranoid. But sounds like that TBE is worse - I have still never heard of that either.
Thanks Shenaz and Riesling for your tips on the spray and tweezers.
Nautiker – thanks for the website, just to check I am reading it right – the best tick sprays would be either Anti Brumm or Anti- Anti- tick – Mosquitan, is that right? Can these be purchased from any pharmacy in Germany?
I will check back later to see if anyone managed to answer my questions.
Thanks again to all of you
Nov 28, 2012 3:09 AM
Tick are active above freezing temperatures
No, ticks are ticks whether May or July.
Its stupefyingly difficult to miss a tick on one's back. I don't think I have ever had a friend spot a tick ever in my life, and I have been bitten lots of times and removed 3x more crawling ones.
Ticks usually crawl until they can crawl no more and then they bite. This usually means in joints, armpits, groin, as well as where your underwear joins your leg, etc
It will be itchy.
Also, a bite will be itchy for a fair few days after you remove a tick, more than a mosquito bite. This is normal.
No. What these websites mean is, ticks live in grass. So usually cats and dogs who walk on grass pick them up in great numbers. Then these cats and dogs go home, they are petted by their owners, the ticks transfer themselves. The owner gets bitten even though he hasn't been in a tick area.
Being on a horse is safer than on foot. Ticks are found under 1 meter from the ground, in scrub and grass.
Not really, but see the petting animals note above.
Yep, it causes encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), which can be pretty rough.
Lyme disease is much rarer, and is cured with anti-biotics and it is just much easier to live through. Its the inexplicable complications that may follow that scare people, but to be honest, you've got as much chance getting killed by a falling brick while walking on the street.
Nov 28, 2012 3:31 AM
Nov 28, 2012 3:43 AM
Nov 28, 2012 4:36 AM
Well it seems I am still off to Germany as planned :-)
Nov 28, 2012 5:50 AM
13Maybe you get lucky and we have a bad tick year when you come, I only had one tick bite in my life but my cat gets them, some years there are plenty on her the next year hardly any, so don't worry.
The FSME vaccination takes 3 shots, the first 2 a few month apart and one after one year, then every 3 years a booster is needed.
Nov 28, 2012 11:39 AM
As long as temperatures are above freezing (more like above +5C, actually), ticks will be around. As far as getting bitten goes, this is more of a factor of people staying outside, walking around laying around in grass, etc far more in summer than say November, which is why people get bitten more in summer. I don't think tick population & activity changes much until temperatures drop to close to freezing (during the night).
Well it seems I am still off to Germany as planned :-)
You're welcome :)
Yep, it depends on the length and severity of the winter, as well as how many hot spells we get during that winter (where eggs hatch and then die due to cold).
(4 star Hotel)
From US$106.65 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$29.58 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$142.97 per night