Ticks concerns

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May 12th, 2015, 01:01 AM
  #1
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Ticks concerns

Hi,
We are a family of 2 adults and 2 young children staying on a farm in the Black Forest for a 1 week holiday.
We have been reading quite a lot on ticks in central Europe and although it is not going to stop us going on holiday, should we be concerned?
We will stay on the farm but probably not venture into the woodland areas, and some of the other times we will be visiting towns etc
Thanks for any advice
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May 12th, 2015, 01:06 AM
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The ticks in Germany can carry tick-borne encephalitis so if you plan on tromping through the wilderness, an immunization is recommended. When we moved to Bavaria in 2010, it was VERY STRONGLY suggested that we get immunized if we planned on doing outdoor activities. Better safe than sorry, right?
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May 12th, 2015, 01:14 AM
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Well the Black forest is not really central Europe (western), however, there are a few ticks all over Europe normally where animals have been (so the woods are probably the safer bet than the farm). Shruby areas on the border between woods and farms is probably the nastiest place and South East Germany is the main area not South West

More to the point ticks are not very nasty, there is only a little Limes disease in Europe, but it does exist and so you keep an eye out accordingly. Since they don't hurt going in just look for blood coming out.

Just to put this whole issue in perspective though, I spend months in European fields each year and have never been bitten, though one cat 15 years ago did get one (but no disease, which is even rarer than the ticks themselves).

So concerned? No I wouldn't think about it all if I was going for this sort of holiday.

Found a scary article for you if you like that sort of thing

http://www.theguardian.com/money/200...inance-germany
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May 12th, 2015, 01:33 AM
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Sorry to contradict, bilboburgler. The Black Forest is classified as high risk area (I live in the area). This does not mean that all ticks are infected, only a still relatively small percentage. Nevertheless you should be alert. Carry tick twisters (available in any pharmacy or drugstore). Check yourself and the children after each hike or playing in the grass. Remove any ticks you find immediately. There is a vaccination against encephalitis - not sure if suitable for young children, though - but there is none against Lyme.
Ticks live in the grass and on low plants, they don't drop from trees as common opinion believes, and they can be everywhere, including gardens and meadows and playgrounds. There are a few easy tricks recommended, for example wearing pants in pale, uni colours (the ticks don't care about colours but you can spot them better on light-coloured ground) or, when walking the woods and meadows, pulling your socks over the legs of your pants so they cannot crawl underneath.
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May 12th, 2015, 01:37 AM
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I know two people in Germany that have had TBE. I don't know of anyone here who has Lyme Disease, but it is something to be aware of.

Vaccinations are cheap. Treatments are not.
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May 12th, 2015, 01:40 AM
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I should point out that when I say vaccination, I am referring to the TBE vaccine. I am not aware of any currently available Lyme Disease vaccine.
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May 12th, 2015, 01:54 AM
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Well I have followed a case of Lyme in my surroundings, a former colleague of mine. Full recovery took her a year, and she was lucky to be diagnosed just in time for treatment and recovery. She had not had a tick bite for almost ten years previous.
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May 12th, 2015, 02:19 AM
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quokka, I've had a similar exerience with a friend of mine but she picked it up in the States

sparkie, quokka I bow to your greater knowledge
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May 12th, 2015, 04:32 AM
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Where I live in the Netherlands there is a high Lyme disease risk from ticks.
Wear long trousers, long sleeves, check each other after a walk. Be aware of what ticks look like before they fasten on to you, and afterwards.
If you do get a tick bite remove it with a special removal tool. Try and get the head as well. Never cover the tick in any sort of fluid or gel, or burn it off.
Keep an eye on the site of the bite and if a ring develops around it seek medical advice. A massive dose of antibiotics at that point will save a lot of pain and heartbreak later.
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May 12th, 2015, 04:35 AM
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I think I have only picked one tick off of me since I moved to Germany.
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May 12th, 2015, 04:46 AM
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I live in an area in the States where Lyme disease is endemic. Our vector is deer, and our dangerous tick is not larger than a period (full stop) on a printed page. You won't see them in the environment, and they are difficult enough to spot on your own body.

We are told to wear long trousers, socks over the bottoms of our trousers, and long-sleeved shirts when we are in tall grass or undergrowth, just as quokka described. Few do, because it is too warm and humid.

The good news is that the ticks must remain attached for 24 hours to pass on the infection. If you shower daily and do a mutual examination of each other, it will go a long way toward preventing disease.

The classic sign of infection is a red bulls-eye (red center surrounded by a red ring) on the skin. If you find this, you must get medical attention immediately, not when you get home from your holiday. Physicians in tick areas will have seen the disease and know how to treat it. Your GP at home may never have seen a case.

The short-term effects can be mild if treated. Untreated Lyme leads to persistent recurring flu-like symptoms and crippling rheumatic joint pain. Many experience neurological effects as well. Treated early, Lyme can be cured, but cured infections do not confer future immunity. It can be argued that it compromises the immune system permanently.

Dogs are a particular problem. I don't know if you take your dogs on holiday in Europe, but people do take them in the States and they will run into fields even on leads. Our dog survived his first infection but died the second time, painfully.

I am not a doctor, and this is not medical advice. It is just what everyone has had to learn who lives in an active area. There are other tick borne diseases, babesiosis, notably, but I know a lot less about them.
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May 12th, 2015, 05:06 AM
  #12
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Thank you all for the great advice, we really appreciate it. I guess being aware of it and regularly checking for ticks on the skin is the way to go.
Just out of interest does altitude make any difference to tick populations? After our week in the Black Forest our second week we will be based at an altitude of approx 1000m in the Bavarian alps/Austria border, are ticks active this high?
Thanks all again
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May 12th, 2015, 05:28 AM
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Ticks can be found up to 2500 meters.
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May 12th, 2015, 07:03 AM
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You might want to stash a small tweezer in your toiletry kit just in case you run into a tick. Agree with the advice above and will add that ticks also like it where it's warm. The cracks behind the knee, arm bend, arm pit and groin are, among other spots, some places they latch on to. If you feel something itchy or like a tag rubbing your skin ask a loving family member for a tick check to be sure.
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May 12th, 2015, 07:08 AM
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If they are like the one on our cat you have to grip them by the head and unscrew them (right hand thread) rather than just pull, pulling the body just takes the body and leaves the mouth parts intact which then act as a source of infection.

Special tools are sold
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May 12th, 2015, 07:13 AM
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One dropped from MIL's dog on our sofa once. It was as big as a kidney bean! I nearly lost my lunch.
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May 12th, 2015, 08:23 AM
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LL Bean sells "No Fly Zone" clothing which will keep you tick-free. Treated with a repellent which will last for 70 washings. Other outdoors suppliers have similar items.
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May 14th, 2015, 08:33 AM
  #18
 
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Do the ticks know that they are entering a "no fly zone"? And does this type of clothing cover and close off your entire body, every tiny bit of skin? Probably not. This sounds just like another marketing gimmick to make money.
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May 14th, 2015, 09:07 AM
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I think it's based on permethrin. Kills ticks dead. Outdoors and gardeners have been using it for years. If you don't want to buy the clothes, you can get a bottle and treat clothing yourself -- but it's nasty stuff until if dries.
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