Bay Area Lyme Disease Death- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Bay Area Lyme Disease Death

    Yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle contains a death notice for a 57-year-old Palo Alto woman who died apparently because of complications from Lyme Disease.

    I got a bunch of tick bites in 2007 and 2008, mostly or all at Henry Coe State Park, and did the best I could to watch for symptoms. At the time, I was told that people seldom contract Lyme Disease in northern California. This article suggests it can happen. Of course, the unfortunate victim could have been bitten in another part of the country or outside the U.S.

    Here's the link:

    http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/sfg...&pid=144752955

  2. #2
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    It's here for sure....

    Maybe Lyme's Disease has always been here, a friend of mine contracted it from a tick bite in Nevada County (as in Grass Valley) way back in 1980---had a hell of a time getting it diagnosed and treated. It took a "hippy" MD thinking outside of the box to figure it out. I remember seeing the bulls-eye marking around the bite on his back.

    Here's another recent case that was nearly missed:

    http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_156335...nclick_check=1

    I was lucky this year---no tick bites but I must've picked off 50 of the little bastards this year so far.
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  3. #3
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    Early detection is key to successful treatment. I've read a couple of times that in order for an infected tick to transmit Lymes disease, it has to be attached for close to a full 24hrs...I'm sure there's varied opinions on that though.

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    Yup, lots of opinions, but little doubt borrelia (the main tick-borne bacteria implicated in the condition called Lyme Disease) is present in CA. I contracted it from ticks near the Yuba River. Also got a wonderful parasite called babesia that infects your red blood cells. Imagine what that does to your aerobic capacity.

    I believe a recent study in Placer County showed over 90% of ticks tested carried borrelia.

  5. #5
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    Funny thing is most docs I've talked to say "don't worry, Lyme is rare in CA".
    It needs to be taken more seriously here.

  6. #6
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    I don't care what the Doc's say b/c it's on the map for the last 5 years. Look at the first pic's western section in the Trinity Wilderness, it's known now as "Common" where before it was "None" all over out here.

    source: https://www.aldf.com/usmap.shtml

    Here's the hardcore facts so far..

    https://lyme-disease.gemzies.com/sho...isk_Zones.html

    There's an even better CDC Map, but my login doesn't work now, so I can't retreive it. IMHO the hunter's feedback is something this state could really use again b/c some states next to us have a really progressive approach to the whole "culling of the herd" bit.

    If you bag a deer, you fill a vial with some of the ticks, and another with some blood that then go in for testing.

  7. #7
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    Here's an example of a "Tick Bite Bullseye"


    I have a friend fighting Lyme, it isn't a cool thing to see her go through.

  8. #8
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    Yup.. know two people with Lyme.. one got it on the east coast, one here in N Cali while backpacking the lost coast. ****'s no joke. Be careful and always do your tick checks.

  9. #9
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    Sorry to hear about the Palo Alto victim...my prayers go out to her family & friends and really anyone afflicted with this disease.

    If you got bit (whether you know it or not, quite a few people don't know-read some of the articles below) and you don't feel right don't wait to get tested or request antibiotics.

    I picked up a tick on mt. tam last year and I was so cautious on the ride about not touching any low weeds or branches I could only determine I got it when I was off my bike and my camelback must have grazed a branch. Then picked up another this spring at china camp. If you've never been bit my experience is that you probably won't feel it initially going in, but after a while you will (an hour or more or so). I mistook the feeling that a spot on my upper back was really sunburn and I (mis) thought my camel back was irritating it (making me feel this "sunburn" sharp/warm irritating sensation) when I was going over rough terrain. Anyway, I'm paranoid about it now because I got some form of lyme and took antibiotics to get rid of it.

    The following info is from a Calif brochure on Lyme Disease:

    Although ticks do not jump or fly, they are more likely to carry diseases in their early stages (3 life stages total: larve, nymph, adult)

    Nymphs pose a greater risk of lyme bacteria transmittal to humans than adults becasue they are tiny and difficult to see (less then 1/20th of an inch, about the size of a poppy seed) and may not be removed promptly. Nymphs are most active in spring and early summer. Adult ticks are most active from fall through early spring.

    In Calif the Western Black Legged tick transmits the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Although they are most common in the coastal regions and along the western slope of the Sierra Nevada range, they have been found in 56 of 58 Calif counties as of June 2008.

    Reduce your chances of getting ticks by:
    stay on trails, avoid sitting on logs or touching wooded areas
    check clothing and skin during hiking/biking frequently
    wear long sleeve and light colored clothing
    tuck shirt in and if hiking pants into socks (don't stretch socks though)
    use tick repellant

    remove tick promptly by grasping as close to skin with tweezers - don't squish it
    (if fingers must be used, protect your fingers with a tissue or plastic bag)
    pull straight out using firm and steady motion, no jerking motions
    wash your hands and bite with soap and water (carry tweezers, antiseptic wipes, tick container, etc.)

    Here are some of the articles and medical info that you may find interesting

    news articles

    from Marin Sonoma Vector Control (2001)
    http://www.msmosquito.com/SF042901.html

    from Napa Valley Register (2008)
    http://napavalleyregister.com/news/l...eb661d124.html

    from MetroActive (2006)
    http://www.metroactive.com/metro/06....ease-0626.html

    tick info
    http://parents.berkeley.edu/advice/health/ticks.html

    from ktvu (2005 updated 2007)
    http://www.ktvu.com/news/4170085/detail.html

    from LymeBlog (2006)
    http://lymeblog.com/modules.php?name...=print&sid=402


    Gov't / Medical info re: ticks

    Everyone not familiar with ticks should read the * following (there are other links out there, but this is a start):

    *Tick Testing Q & A
    http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/di...kTestQandA.pdf

    *Tick Paralysis
    http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/di...alysis2007.pdf

    Tick diseases info from Calif Dept of Public Health
    http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/di...eDiseases.aspx

    2008 Sonoma Cty Health Dept. Tick Testing Form (may not be current)
    http://www.co.mendocino.ca.us/ph/pdf...orm_Sonoma.pdf

  10. #10
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    Excellent posts, everyone. I may send my doctor the link to this thread.

  11. #11
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    Article on treatment within the first 72 hours of the bite:

    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056...00107123450201
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  12. #12
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    My micro prof has had lyme disease twice. You probably won't feel the bite because the tick (ixodes species) that's usually implicated injects a local anesthetic. The bulls eye rash pic earlier in this thread is "classic" (as in on every one of my tests) but really you may not get it. If you do though, run to the doctor. You really should check yourself when you shower after a ride for ticks, especially in the groin area where they like to hide. I usually do.

    When you have the vague symptoms associated with the initial stage and have outdoor exposure, your doctor really should think lyme disease unless he slept through his/her board exam. It's eminently treatable especially in the initially stage, and even in the 2nd stage with antibiotics; it's the 3rd stage that really sucks.

    The same tick can carry babesia (which someone else mentioned they got) which causes malaria like symptoms; that particular tick also can carry another bacteria, anaplasma. None of these things need to be serious or lifestyle changing if treated. Stupid things you learn in med school.

  13. #13
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    I've had Lyme's twice (both times it was caught during the first stage and was treated with antibiotics), and the second time I didn't get the bullseye. I remember my doc at the time (this was in southern NJ) saying that the bullseye only shows up about 40% of the time, so it's hardly a reliable indicator of infection. I know a biologist who got it right here in Marin. Be careful out there!
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  14. #14
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    When I have had a tick on me that has become attached, I send it to this lab. It's not cheap (60 bucks?). But it does give a sense of relief when it comes back negative. And I've had ticks that got on me from rides where I never even stopped. They must have just come off a leaf I brushed by.

    http://www.clongen.com/tick_20testing_lyme_disease.php
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  15. #15
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    Cross-Canyon Trail at Henry Coe State Park is notorious. I've gotten 12 ticks in one transit of it. Spring, of course, is when it's at its worst. I got a tick on the Jackson Trail there too.

    I'm impressed by the expertise we trail cyclists seem to have collectively about Lyme disease in the Bay Area. I guess it's because we cover so many trail miles.

  16. #16
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    My wife is currently going through treatment for Lyme which she contracted in Northern California (east bay). There are also three co-infections which can be contracted as well and require different treatments (she has two of the three).

    The treatment can take quite a while ( in some cases years) and can be worse than the symptoms, so it's important to treat Lyme in the early stages.

    After seeing what she is going through I would suggest going to the doctor asap if you think you have been bitten.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mythosman
    Yup.. know two people with Lyme.. one got it on the east coast, one here in N Cali while backpacking the lost coast. ****'s no joke. Be careful and always do your tick checks.
    I also had a bad tick bite backpacking on the lost coast in 1998. It was a deer tick and I got a large rash circular rash, went to the doc, got the antibiotics. Don't know for sure if it was Lyme or not but sure looked like it.

    I got about 10 ticks this year. Mostly the bigger dog ticks, not deer ticks. Anyway, there is a test for Lyme disease now. I got screened just in case after a regular doctor visit. All good.

    -slide

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xc California Scorpio
    In Calif the Western Black Legged tick transmits the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Although they are most common in the coastal regions and along the western slope of the Sierra Nevada range, they have been found in 56 of 58 Calif counties as of June 2008.
    I'm pretty sure that Lyme is carried and can be transmitted by more than one species. The deer tick/dog tick distinction is a myth wrt Lyme.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xc California Scorpio
    remove tick promptly by grasping as close to skin with tweezers - don't squish it
    How do you not squish it with tweezers? Bad advice. Use a tick "spoon". Looks like a spoon with a tight pie-shaped cut-out. You scoop the tick up and pull him out. If I don't have one I can do a pretty good job with a knife and a long fingernail.



    http://www.google.com/products/catal...CAgQ8gIwADgA#p

  19. #19
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    I have a tick "spoon" that I carry in my car at all times. REI sells them. You're right: most tweezers will compress the tick's body and inject more poison into you, and/or will crush and kill the tick, leaving its nasty head and prongs embedded in your skin while the rest of it falls off.

    The spoon has a tiny, maybe 0.5mm-wide aperture that allows the spoon's "lips" to slide underneath the tick's body so you can lift the whole thing off without squashing it. As you lift, self-preservation causes the tick to withdraw itself from underneath your skin and you rid yourself of the whole thing.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by slide mon
    I got screened just in case after a regular doctor visit. All good.
    I think a lot of insurance companies might not cover "expensive" western blot or serology tests for this though =/.

    Doxycycline for prophylaxis though, yea. It's cheap and generally well tolerated in adults, probably a good idea if you suspect you've been bitten as the article someone else linked said. As the drug commercials say, ask your doctor lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by c-wal
    My wife is currently going through treatment for Lyme which she contracted in Northern California (east bay). There are also three co-infections which can be contracted as well and require different treatments (she has two of the three).

    The treatment can take quite a while ( in some cases years) and can be worse than the symptoms, so it's important to treat Lyme in the early stages.

    After seeing what she is going through I would suggest going to the doctor asap if you think you have been bitten.
    I got a tick bite once and immediately went to my doctor's office. I told the receptionist I needed to see my doc about a tick bite, that I was worried about Lyme. She said I needed an appointment, I told her I was sitting in the waiting room until the doc would see me. The doc finally saw me after waiting about an hour he was pissed at me for disrupting his schedule. I was pissed at him for not understanding my concern. He gave me a prescription and I left, not sure why the doctor didn't get my concern.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fast Eddy
    How do you not squish it with tweezers? Bad advice. Use a tick "spoon". Looks like a spoon with a tight pie-shaped cut-out. You scoop the tick up and pull him out. If I don't have one I can do a pretty good job with a knife and a long fingernail.
    And they are light too! I have one permanently stashed in my pack. So for the folks who ride with me, I can get it out for ya! Good to spend the $4 and get one.
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  23. #23
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    Yes this is a serious concern. The first time I got ticks all over me was in Santa Cruz when I was about 12 years old hiking in one of the arroyos north of Western Drive. I had never seen these on a person before, but was quite familiar with them being on our dog. Me and this other kid went back to the house for dinner and they just started to come out of our hair by the dozens afterwards while we were watching some crap on TV. Ever since then I've been freaked out by ticks.

    About 15 years ago I got one on the S Yuba trail about 4 inches below my right arm-pit. I slept with it, and cut it out with a razor blade. Nothing bad happened.

    After that one, no problems for many years of bushwhacking, many of them days in Coe too.

    Late winter before last I came up with a classic bulls-eye rash on the stomach area and went right to the doctor and got the anti-biotic course.

    This year I got one 2 inches above the belly-button. No rash, so I let it take it's course. Still have a scar.

    Vance at Cupertino Bike Shop got Lyme disease last year and he hadn't even been mountain biking. I imagine he got a tick brought in by a rider (me?). He's okay now (phew), but came down with an illness that as later diagnosed as Lyme. If I am correct, he never noticed getting a tick bite! He was on a long course of anti-biotics.

    Another couple of people I know got Lyme disease in the Bay Area within the last 10 years.

    The tick juvenile stage often thrives on reptiles through which the lyme disease is mitigated.

    Also, some conspiracy theorists speculate that Lyme disease is bio-weaponized vector disease originating from Plum Island, CT, adjacent to Lyme CT and Long Island NY.

    My credo is: feel something: check it out; do tick checks; wear appropriate clothing, and above all keep exploring even in tick season.

  24. #24
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    Riding lots in NJ, the center of Lyme Desease, I'd sometimes get dozens of ticks on me after riding through weeds. They were usually the large ones that usually aren't inefected. But I got bit a couple times by small ones.

    I never got the bullseye rash or Lymes. But every time got got bit by a small one, I'd see a doctor and he'd give me antibiotics. I asked if he wanted to diagnose the tick I'd saved. But he said it didn't matter, the tests werent' relaible and took too long. He thought it was better to just give me the antibiotics ASAP since I was bit for sure and about half the ticks there have Lymes. Maybe that's why I didn't get Lymes?

    Oh, and both of the small tick bites were not from biking in the woods, but working around my 3 acre yard. Go figure.
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

  25. #25
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    I grew up in Maryland and when I was a kid I had probably 1 or 2 ticks embedded in my scalp every week. I played in the woods a lot. (Some things never change...) One time, a tick got so engorged on blood it grew to the size of a large pinto bean and it was all green. (eew) Mom had to take me to the emergency room because we couldn't get it out. The point of all this is: I never once got Lyme's disease. Lucky perhaps... But I do think sometimes people's fears are a little bit overblown. Especially people on the west coast. Relax! Lyme disease does in fact, suck, no question. I have an uncle who had it. Can't emphasize prevention enough! But really, there is no need to run to the doctor's office every time there is a tick on your person.
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    Early detection is key - seems like every person I know who has contacted Lymes disease was UNAWARE they were being bitten by a tick.

    Personally I am hyper aware and feel the suckers on first bite. However, It has become apparent that some people are not as sensitive or 'in tune' with their bodies to feel the bite.


    Ticks move slow. They don't run and they dont attack immediately. Seems like with a little prudence with routine 'tick check' and some self awareness will save most people from a bout with Lymes disease.

    PS- Best thing to do when you feel a bite is simply pull the tick and save it in a bag or cannister. THEN TAKE IT TO THE DOCTOR FOR EXAMINATION.

    If you can have the tick examined by the county health services they will determine if the tick is a carrier. Then prescribe the best treatment. In most cases there is no Lymes present and you can get on with life. If there is Lymes present the proper medical treatment can be applied with confidence.

    Don't take all those nasty pills if you dont need to, they will mess you up in the short term.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigWheel28
    Personally I am hyper aware and feel the suckers on first bite. However, It has become apparent that some people are not as sensitive or 'in tune' with their bodies to feel the bite.
    Big ticks hurt. Little ticks don't.

  28. #28
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    Had a friend who got a tick on his neck. I wasn't familiar with ticks at that time ( I still am not...that is why this is a fantastic thread). It was much larger than a poppy seed. My friend was a smoker. He gave me his lighted cigarette and said put the cigarette ember on the tick. That thing backed out of his neck in a micro-second and fell to the ground. We thought maybe the tick was from his dog.
    So....carry a tick spoon or a match and a cigarette.

  29. #29
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    I had two bites earlier this summer. I didn't get the rash, flu symptoms or joint pains. Been having some dizziness lately that my doc thinks is an inner ear infection but I just emailed him to remind him about my tick bites earlier on and inquire about lyme. Doesn't seem likely but I want him to be thinking about it.
    :wq

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by omanwurmi
    Had a friend who got a tick on his neck. I wasn't familiar with ticks at that time ( I still am not...that is why this is a fantastic thread). It was much larger than a poppy seed. My friend was a smoker. He gave me his lighted cigarette and said put the cigarette ember on the tick. That thing backed out of his neck in a micro-second and fell to the ground. We thought maybe the tick was from his dog.
    So....carry a tick spoon or a match and a cigarette.
    This is a bad thing to do. From what I remember reading about ticks, this tends to make them regurgitate their body fluids into the victim.

    There's really one way to remove ticks. Either needle nose tweezers, or one of the special removers. I use a magnifying loupe and tweezers that are needle points. There's almost no way to remove ticks without leaving the head part in, once they've fully settled into the host.
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  31. #31
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    I should have mentioned earlier that I carry in my car both the special spoon-shaped tick remover and a very precise needlenose tweezers. The latter is so fine-pointed that if the protective cover falls off it gives me a jab on the slightest contact. You can buy them at Walgreens for about $11.

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    I grew up in SW Missouri and I've had hundreds if not thousands of ticks. I can verify from personal experience that you will not feel them bite you. It's always a good idea to do an inspection any time you've been hiking or biking. You don't want those suckers "hanging around".

    I mainly used my fingers to pull them out, or tweezers if it was a hard to reach spot. They tend to like areas like the arm pit and groin - it's good to check your scalp, as well.

  33. #33
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    Handling ticks is yet another means of getting this disease.

    I'm rather thankful for this thread, as I have just realized something.

    About ten years ago I began having headaches. I've always been healthy, and never had a headache up until then. Things really began to fall apart in my life, such as good sleep, and overall well being, headaches, and a hungover feeling many mornings. I went to several doctors, including a neurologist, but never thought about Lyme testing.

    I had two cats that had ticks on a regular basis. And I recall handling ticks a lot. It could very well be that I have contacted Lyme disease by simply handling so many ticks, some of which I literally squashed between my fingers.
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  34. #34
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    This thread needs more pics





    What can I say, it was a quiet day at work...

    I had a cousin of this Ixodes Pacificus specimen sent to the lab (after I found it on me a day after a Coe ride, together with some red rash) - luckily it tested negative on Borrelia Burgdorferi. Probably a good thing to do when you find on one you and not a big deal if your insurance covers it.

    The good news is, as far as I understand / have been told, the tick must be on you for quite a while to get infected, up to a day or so while it's feasting on your blood. So you have quite some time to do a thorough tick check; the small suckers that get unnoticed are the most dangerous.. because they get unnoticed.

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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregg K
    There's almost no way to remove ticks without leaving the head part in, once they've fully settled into the host.
    I wouldn't say this is true. Especially with practice (hopefully more so with pets than oneself) you can get the hang of pulling 'em out intact. On my own body I've usually noticed them fast enough that they aren't fully embedded so I can get 'em out.

    There's actually a tick remover for pets that I use on my cats that's especially made to get 'em out intact. Interestingly enough it removes the ticks through what is often considered an improper method -- twisting. But when I've followed the instructions, it has worked fine. I'd assume that the same tick removers for pets would work for humans as well.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by mythosman
    There's actually a tick remover for pets that I use on my cats that's especially made to get 'em out intact.

    I may have seen that remover. But if you have a chance, I'd like to see a link to one. I have tried the twisting method, and never been lucky. And for the literally hundreds that I removed from my cats, once they are fully in, they are as one with the flesh. And even going over them every day, there were times when a tick wasn't evident until having been on a long long time. I thought a flea comb would find them, but that isn't the case. Ticks are a just horrible creatures. A rather successful specie it seems.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregg K
    I may have seen that remover. But if you have a chance, I'd like to see a link to one. I have tried the twisting method, and never been lucky. And for the literally hundreds that I removed from my cats, once they are fully in, they are as one with the flesh. And even going over them every day, there were times when a tick wasn't evident until having been on a long long time. I thought a flea comb would find them, but that isn't the case. Ticks are a just horrible creatures. A rather successful specie it seems.
    Here's a link to a similar one as what we have:
    http://www.sourcingmap.com/red-dog-c...aign=usfroogle

    Again it's the only product I've seen that's recommended twisting instead of pulling straight out or some such.

    It seems that the most popular products now are the "spoon" or "key" style ones.

  39. #39
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    I should have posted this excellent video earlier. My screen name is borrowed from this, the most awesomest band in the world.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFt15NnrHOc

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    I can tell you I asked an Infectious disease specilist at my med center because I was personally worried about my tick bites from coe, and its 1/100 ticks carry disease and yes you need to have it be attached for a long period of time. And if you have the "bulls eye" (erythema migrans) you should be treated.
    "Chancho. When you are a man sometimes you wear stretchy pants... Its for fun..."

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    My 3 year old daughter got lyme last year. We never saw the biting insect, but she developed a small bug bite on her belly that eventually turned into the bull's eye. The rash only lasted 12 hours on her, so if it was on her scalp, we may have never seen it. I can't stress how important it is to check and re check yourself after every ride. Here in Santa Cruz, there are more and more cases. My daughter was in the San Lorenzo valley the day of the bite, but there are (according to the specialist we took her to) a huge number of people coming out of Nisene Marks with lyme.

    I got bit by several at Bullard's bar near Downieville and had another 6 or 7 crawling on me after a march ride. There was a nymph on me, and I could not believe how small those things are. About the size of a comma,,,

    Since this disease is so controversial it is hard to find a Dr who will take you serious if you think you have it. This site http://www.lymenet.org/ was a huge help and a great source for finding our Dr.

  42. #42
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    I have been training for a race, and feeling great. But two days ago I started feeling lousy again. So I've been doing more sleuthing on the net, as well as finally getting a Lyme test on Tuesday. But then I found this, and it's a bit scary-

    http://www.truthaboutlymedisease.com...c.php?f=6&t=51

    But for our purposes in Lyme disease treatment, we are particularly interested in two patterns—the 15-6-51 or the 16-5-51 pattern. If you have these you will not be able to remove Lyme biotoxins. So when you try to kill Lyme with antibiotics, antibiotic herbs, HBOT, or a wide range of traditional or progressive means, you will release Lyme's surface biotoxins and they will pass throughout the body easily and disrupt and damage dozens of human body functions. Simply, this Lyme poison has no natural body antidote for those who cannot naturally remove it—it will simply stay in your body and damage gene expression, hormones levels, protein function and cause dozens of other injuries. Consider it to be an eternal disruptive chemical poison able to easily pass through water pores and cell membranes.

    If you make the mistake of thinking you are still ill because of residual Lyme, and try additional antibiotics at higher doses, you will release still more biotoxins and they will damage your body. Therefore, no one should be treated with antibiotics unless it is known how able they are at removing Lyme's biotoxins. You do not open a drum of industrial chemicals until you first know how well the body is going to survive the exposure as you remove the top!
    Note to self: 85% of FTP for 20 min.

  43. #43
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    Good luck, Gregg K. I hope you don't have an ineradicable Lyme disease infection.

    These posts are making me think I won't ride Coe much anymore in the spring. At least not without marinating myself in insect repellent first. The wildflowers are incomparable, but these stories are scary. Maybe I will, but I'll lather myself in repellent first, including in my hair. Meanwhile, Rancho Cañada del Oro, Boccardo Trail, Soquel Demo, and a number of other places should be relatively safe.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by imtnbke
    Good luck, Gregg K. I hope you don't have an ineradicable Lyme disease infection.

    These posts are making me think I won't ride Coe much anymore in the spring. At least not without marinating myself in insect repellent first. The wildflowers are incomparable, but these stories are scary. Maybe I will, but I'll lather myself in repellent first, including in my hair. Meanwhile, Rancho Cañada del Oro, Boccardo Trail, Soquel Demo, and a number of other places should be relatively safe.

    Thanks. But I caution you to not let down your guard. None of those places are safe. I live 1/2 mile from the breakers in Mendocino, and the ticks are here. I've lived in Los Gatos, Ukiah, Mendocino, Hydesville, Coos Bay in Oregon, and all have ticks. Furthermore, I've found that they can fall off inside the house and then later get attached. I woke one morning with a tick on me that wasn't there when I went to bed. I'm really not the scared type. I love playing with fire and speed. But being ill is something I never knew, and am now hyper vigilant about avoiding.
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    That is sobering indeed. I'll take your advice. I rode the Forest History Trails in April, by the way. Delightful. I heard the Trestle Trail in Jackson State Forest would be great except that it's overgrown with poison oak (probably infested with ticks too).

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by imtnbke
    That is sobering indeed. I'll take your advice. I rode the Forest History Trails in April, by the way. Delightful. I heard the Trestle Trail in Jackson State Forest would be great except that it's overgrown with poison oak (probably infested with ticks too).

    Ha! I'm off to ride that trail right now. And Manly. And the new Caspar Creek crossing. That's my backyard.

    Two days ago I ran into a couple of guys who rode Trestle. They say it would be worth cleaning up, as it's supposed to be stunningly beautiful.

    Cheers.
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    Tick Testing Lab info for Marin County (San Rafael)

    If anyone in/near Marin needs to pursue tick testing here is one place I have direct info (as of May 2009):

    Marin County Public Health Laboratory
    920 Grand Ave.
    San Rafael, CA 94901
    ph# 415-499-6849
    fax# 415-507-2986

    I do not know how much they charge for lab work.
    "It's not that I'm lazy. It's just that I don't care" (Peter in the movie Office Space)

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregg K
    . ...But then I found this, and it's a bit scary-

    http://www.truthaboutlymedisease.com...c.php?f=6&t=51
    Interesting and yes scary info; this subject is a Pandora's Box!

    About the article, although you need to recognize this doctor probably specializes in this area you need to remember this maybe one mans opinions/findings and also take into account what new info has transpired since 2008 that may alter his findings.

    Nevertheless, some of the article passages that I found interesting (skip if you read the link that GreggK posted I just copied article parts):

    one reason for Lyme treatment failure--Babesia has over 11 species that infect humans and our labs only test one or two. We have also found that Bartonella has at least nine species that infect humans and 99% of our lab testing is fair and only tests for two

    Still another cause for Lyme treatment failure is exposure to indoor surface mold spore toxins found in 30% of USA structures (per EPA). These mold spore surface toxins highjack dozens of body chemicals and weaken your ability to fight Lyme.

    Lyme bacteria have toxins on its outer membrane should be no surprise. Lyme has over two-dozen plasmids designed to defeat the attacks of the immune system, so why not also have biotoxins to defeat the immune system and undermine the human body?

    Biological toxins like those found in Lyme bacteria have so many ways to harm your body, that it would take a small book to show how they harm humans when released

    Lyme biotoxins disrupt the fat cell system and if not removed cause a type of obesity highly resistant to diet and exercise.

    These biotoxins undermine VEGF function so your capillaries ability to get oxygen to many types of tissues is impaired. A disrupted VEGF system often leads to profound fatigue and body pains, particularly after exercise or pushing yourself to perform a "full day's work."

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by imtnbke
    These posts are making me think I won't ride Coe much anymore in the spring....
    In riding my mountain bike through the woods over a decade while in NJ, I got lots of the larger dog ticks, easily brushed off like flies, on every ride. But in all the years I only got two of the smaller deer ticks, 50% of which carry Lymes in NJ. And both of the deer ticks came from working in the yard, not biking. My wife and kids also got bit by the small ticks in the yard.

    So they can get you anywhere, not just by biking.

    I don't get many ticks at Henry Coe, and the large ticks there are easily found and brushed off. And the ticks don't bite for up to a day, so I inspect and always find the few I pick up while in the shower before they've bit me. And only a very small fraction carry Lymes in CA. And even if bit by a Lymes carrier, only very few people get the very nasty reaction from Lymes, and only then if they don't get proper early treatment. So overall I find riding my bike at Henry Coe and other locations relatively safe.

    A danger in reading any medical pathology is that it can give you more nightmares than an expensive Hollywood movie. A lot of scary things are out there. Yes, you need to be aware and do things like inspect yourself carefully after a ride. If bit by a tick, maybe get it tested. But in practice most of the diseases such as this are really pretty rare.

    Why don't you read what a Brown Recluse spider does to you? How about mosquito bites? Heard about Bird Flu?
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregg K
    ..About ten years ago I began having headaches. I've always been healthy, and never had a headache up until then. Things really began to fall apart in my life, such as good sleep, and overall well being, headaches, and a hungover feeling many mornings...
    Not sure it sounds like Lyme's. You need to look more at all the other Lyme's symptoms like joint pain.

    Could be a million other things - mold, allergies, allergies to cats, diet, bed bugs, your bed position, and so on. Doctors have difficulty diagnosing general symptoms like yours. There could well be a definitive source, but it really tough to put a finger on it among all the potential causes on one's life, and many of which aren't traditionally in the medical domain.

    In cases like this, finding the root cause is often up to your own initiative. Look at everything, don't just focus on one little bug. Make different changes in your life. Get your house inspected for mold with one of the kits. Put your cats with a friend for a week and clean your house of allergens. Change your diet (no milk one week, no wheat the next). Check your bed, wrap it in plastic. Change your position at night. Do lots more things like this, starting with the most likely based on your symptoms.

    I'm sure you've done some of this already. But if it's really an issue for you, make a more aggressive pesonal effort to rule out all sorts of things the doctors can't easily figure out for you.
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

  51. #51
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    Re: post #18

    Quote Originally Posted by Fast Eddy
    I'm pretty sure that Lyme is carried and can be transmitted by more than one species. The deer tick/dog tick distinction is a myth wrt Lyme.



    How do you not squish it with tweezers? Bad advice. Use a tick "spoon". Looks like a spoon with a tight pie-shaped cut-out. You scoop the tick up and pull him out. If I don't have one I can do a pretty good job with a knife and a long fingernail.

    The focus of my post was not to get into the minutia of discussing Lyme as it relates to how many species can carry it or the myths...I'm not in the medical field and don't pretend to be. That's great if your "pretty sure" about your point, but...

    I agree about the tick "spoon" device. To be honest it was late when I first posted and failed to consider these awesome tools. In short, I was going off medical material I had gathered when I was going through testing and it only mentioned tweezers.

    Yet, I am pretty sure the tick removal devices are relatively new and tweezers as mentioned earlier in this post by another poster have been "tweaked" to aid in easier removal of ticks and such. However, they were/have been an effective tool and the preferable method in the field and in short that is why they are still mentioned in the 2008 tick pamphlet I was going off of.

    To answer your question about how does one not squeeze a tick with tweezers.

    Personally, I have not removed one with any device because in both instances where I was aware I had ticks on myself they were on my back and I either, could not reach them or did not feel comfortable in doing so without causing the tick to regurgitate toxins or tear/cut it into pieces. That said I had them removed by regular tweezers. I know the last instance was done in a counter clockwise manner. Both ticks came out alive and as far as I could tell they were not missing any parts, but a) i didn't look at them with a magnifying glass; and b) I didn't know what they looked like before so I could not do a before and after comparison anyway.

    I imagine with a steady hand one applies enough force to "grab" the tick at the area closest to the impact of the hosts body with enough force to budge the tick but not so much that you squish it so hard to open. I think you need to think of their bodies like eggs, you would think they are going to break no matter what pressure exerted...simply not true. So now that there are now better tick removal devices, I don't think tweezers are bad advice, just not a preferable one because it is easier with ones like the spoon.

    Before I end, I would say that I would be far more adament against using your fingernail or a knife unless that is all you have with you. With either you can cut into the tick causing shock and possibly releasing toxins and with the fingernails you run the additional but slight risk of picking up whatever bacteria is present unless you wash/clean areas touched well.

    One thing to consider no matter what removal device is used is if you are able to solely comfortably access it without causing a toxic "fight" response. If not, have someone assist.
    "It's not that I'm lazy. It's just that I don't care" (Peter in the movie Office Space)

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan51
    Funny thing is most docs I've talked to say "don't worry, Lyme is rare in CA".
    It needs to be taken more seriously here.
    When my wife was bitten during her pregnancy; I have kept the tick and we insisted on sending it for testing. Test came back positive, which changed our doctor opinion on the spot. Wife went on (non doxy due to pregnancy) antibiotics to be safe.
    Yes, there is Lyme here, it is not a joke, but fortunately it is easily treatable on early stages. Single doze of doxy within 72 hours of exposure is said to be 95% effective in preventing. Next time I am bitten I will just do that without waiting for rash to appear.

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    No offense to Gregg K or Dr. Schaller, but I would approach that link with a bit of skepticism. I clicked through to the original, and there are no references, no citations, and vague self references. Scientifically I suppose his claims could have merit (especially the bit about HLA typing although it's not black and white like he says), but I just can't take him seriously he says "lyme bacteria" (layman terms) instead of "b. burgdorferi or borrelia sp.," then jumps to medical jargon like HLA types, growth factors, and various endogenously produced pepties who's functions are still being studied. It sounded like he's fishing for a consult and the associated fees or book purchases. I could totally be wrong though.

    Anyway one of the hallmark symptoms of 3rd stage lyme disease is migratory arthritis. If you have joint pain that moves from joint to joint without much rhyme or reason, it might be worth having your synovial fluid (the fluid in your joints) tested. Even if it's not lyme it could be another chronic infectious disease....

    The other symptoms in 3rd stage are from the central nervous system (like if you have problems with math, feel like when you do critical thinking it takes you longer than before) and just general fatigue. It's easy to confuse these with just getting old though.

    Of course take everything I say with skepticism too, I'm not an M.D. or anything yet. Pubmed is your friend.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkenshin
    No offense to Gregg K or Dr. Schaller, but I would approach that link with a bit of skepticism. I clicked through to the original, and there are no references, no citations, and vague self references. Scientifically I suppose his claims could have merit (especially the bit about HLA typing although it's not black and white like he says), but I just can't take him seriously he says "lyme bacteria" (layman terms) instead of "b. burgdorferi or borrelia sp.," then jumps to medical jargon like HLA types, growth factors, and various endogenously produced pepties who's functions are still being studied. It sounded like he's fishing for a consult and the associated fees or book purchases. I could totally be wrong though.

    Anyway one of the hallmark symptoms of 3rd stage lyme disease is migratory arthritis. If you have joint pain that moves from joint to joint without much rhyme or reason, it might be worth having your synovial fluid (the fluid in your joints) tested. Even if it's not lyme it could be another chronic infectious disease....

    The other symptoms in 3rd stage are from the central nervous system (like if you have problems with math, feel like when you do critical thinking it takes you longer than before) and just general fatigue. It's easy to confuse these with just getting old though.

    Of course take everything I say with skepticism too, I'm not an M.D. or anything yet. Pubmed is your friend.



    I thought twice before posting that link. I agree with what everyone has said about it. It's good to be skeptical about this kind of stuff.
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  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregg K
    I have been training for a race, and feeling great. But two days ago I started feeling lousy again. So I've been doing more sleuthing on the net, as well as finally getting a Lyme test on Tuesday. But then I found this, and it's a bit scary-

    http://www.truthaboutlymedisease.com...c.php?f=6&t=51
    I'm with hkenshin: there is a whole lot of unsubstantiated ******** in that article.

    "Biotoxins"? Let's see some evidence for all the wild claims about how killing bacteria in your body magically releases toxins that weren't poisoning you before. What's really happening is that massive doses of antibiotics totally screw up your system (for instance, gut bacteria digest a lot of your food), and if you'd just stop taking the damned things, you'd start feeling better.

    As far as the terminology, I'm still with hkenshin: he's throwing around a lot of scientific-sounding terms that don't actually mean anything.

    Meanwhile, the Lyme pushers blame every non-specific bad feeling on Lyme disease. Is Lyme real? Absolutely. Should you check for ticks? Absolutely. But it's probably not the reason you feel crummy and can't sleep, and taking gigantic, repeated courses of antibiotics is going to do nothing but make you feel worse.

  56. #56
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    Best to be safe.

    I grew up in north-eastern MN & have had hundreds of tick bites & usually at least half a dozen ticks sneaking around on me after most any outdoor activity. Never had a rash or so much as an itchy spot from any of those bites.

    The two tick bites I got mountain biking in CA left a minor rash that I pretty much ignored. It looked similar to poison oak rash & even itched similarly. One of them caused pretty extreme fluid accumulation around my abdomen (where the tick bite was located), so I went to the doctor. He suspected borreliosis (Lyme) & prescribed a month-long course of oral doxycycline. I was totally skeptical (probably even laughed) but took the antibiotics because the swelling was freaky & I figured it couldn't hurt.

    Within a few months I got more rash that was more obviously bullseye-like & started having all sorts of health issues, not to mention feeling really lousy. Saw a neurologist since I've had a spinal cord injury in the past & thought it could be related to that but she suspected Lyme. Got tested & they all came back negative. After about 6 more months of hell I asked her to test again & they came back hugely positive. Sometimes it takes a while for your body to generated enough antibodies to show up on the tests.

    Anyway, the moral of the story is that I think things have changed. More ticks may be carrying more pathogens than ever before. It's far better to be safe than sorry & have the tick tested even though the first line treatments may not be effective for everyone. Like someone else said, the peace of mind of a negative test is golden (given what I went thru).

    Quote Originally Posted by shredchic
    I grew up in Maryland and when I was a kid I had probably 1 or 2 ticks embedded in my scalp every week. I played in the woods a lot. (Some things never change...) One time, a tick got so engorged on blood it grew to the size of a large pinto bean and it was all green. (eew) Mom had to take me to the emergency room because we couldn't get it out. The point of all this is: I never once got Lyme's disease. Lucky perhaps... But I do think sometimes people's fears are a little bit overblown. Especially people on the west coast. Relax! Lyme disease does in fact, suck, no question. I have an uncle who had it. Can't emphasize prevention enough! But really, there is no need to run to the doctor's office every time there is a tick on your person.

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    Funny, but I felt nearly 100% normal during numerous courses of high dose antibiotics to get rid of this crap. It was a few weeks after STOPPING antibiotics that everything went to heck again.

    Also, regarding "how killing bacteria in your body magically releases toxins" is a "wild claim"? Try doing a little reading up on how your immune system actually works, paying special attention to the term "cytokine." Cytokine release will make you feel quite ill & can be fatal. There is no "magic", but cytokines (maybe what the author is describing as biotoxins) are very real.

    Quote Originally Posted by El Caballo
    I'm with hkenshin: there is a whole lot of unsubstantiated ******** in that article.

    "Biotoxins"? Let's see some evidence for all the wild claims about how killing bacteria in your body magically releases toxins that weren't poisoning you before. What's really happening is that massive doses of antibiotics totally screw up your system (for instance, gut bacteria digest a lot of your food), and if you'd just stop taking the damned things, you'd start feeling better.

    As far as the terminology, I'm still with hkenshin: he's throwing around a lot of scientific-sounding terms that don't actually mean anything.

    Meanwhile, the Lyme pushers blame every non-specific bad feeling on Lyme disease. Is Lyme real? Absolutely. Should you check for ticks? Absolutely. But it's probably not the reason you feel crummy and can't sleep, and taking gigantic, repeated courses of antibiotics is going to do nothing but make you feel worse.
    Last edited by B R H; 08-22-2010 at 11:13 AM.

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    Here's a great tool I carry in all my packs:
    http://www.rei.com/product/407279

  59. #59
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    Just got back from Rancho Cañada del Oro. No tick landings!

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by B R H
    Here's a great tool I carry in all my packs:
    http://www.rei.com/product/407279
    I've used that little tool in dozens of tick removals. I need to buy some more. Sometimes the little buggers hang in there good and my skin is often stretched out a couple inches before they finally let go. I have to get around the tick's body good with the tool, then slowly and consistently increase the pull.

    That tool is the only thing I found that works properly with the force needed. Although I've not tried the spoon that looks to work similarly, but a bit larger.
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by B R H
    ..Also, regarding "how killing bacteria in your body magically releases toxins" is a "wild claim"? Try doing a little reading up on how your immune system actually works, paying special attention to the term "cytokine." Cytokine release will make you feel quite ill & can be fatal. There is no "magic", but cytokines (maybe what the author is describing as biotoxins) are very real.
    My wife's a nurse in the ICU. She often says what kills her patients with very high loads of bacteria is the shock of the body processing toxins from the dead bacteria after administering antibiotics, even though the antibiotics or interluken may be very successful at killing the bacteria. It causes low blood pressure, shock, rigors,....
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by B R H
    Also, regarding "how killing bacteria in your body magically releases toxins" is a "wild claim"? Try doing a little reading up on how your immune system actually works, paying special attention to the term "cytokine." Cytokine release will make you feel quite ill & can be fatal. There is no "magic", but cytokines (maybe what the author is describing as biotoxins) are very real.
    Have you been to med school?

    If not, I suspect I've done a lot more research on the immune system than you have...which is why I call bull**** on that article. (But you should feel free to be condescending to people who know a lot more than you do, as you were in the mining thread, if it makes you feel better.)

    Cytokines are generated by the human body. The term "biotoxins" implies that these putative toxins are generated by the bacteria. If the author is indeed an MD, he should know the difference and use the correct term.

    Furthermore, if he is indeed talking about toxins produced by the Borrelia spirochete, he should use the terms "endotoxin" and "endotoxin release", which is what all the literature uses.

    Medical and scientific terms aren't just used to sound nice. They're used because they have very specific meanings...and throwing them around in incorrect ways is a big red flag for quackery.

    Combine that with the red flags of a doctor who also treats fibromyalgia and "mold illnesses" (i.e. making lots of money off of depressed hypochondriacs by telling them they have a real disease which is impossible to test for and which cannot be cured), and whose single scientific footnote has nothing to do with the case he's making, and I'm calling ********.



    Note: it is entirely possible that killing large amounts of Borrelia with antibiotics causes endotoxin release. But this hypothesis is not compatible with the concomitant hypotheses that Lyme hides out in body tissues antibiotics can't get to very well, and/or causes low-level infection by hanging out in concentrations too low to test for.

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    I always freak out when I get bit, and maybe I will go in for testing or anti-biotics immediately instead of waiting for the bulls-eye.

    And just a heads up, if you see these little guys running around the trail DO NOT run them over, they could save you from the Lyme disease.



    https://www.sdnhm.org/fieldguide/herps/scel-occ.html

    "Western Fence Lizards may reduce the incidence of Lyme Disease in their range! It has recently been discovered that when infected ticks feed on the blood of these lizards, the Lyme disease spirochetes they carry are destroyed. In areas with Western Fence Lizards, about 5 percent of ticks carry the disease, while in other areas 50 percent of ticks harbor the disease.
    —Reported by the NY Times News Service, April 19, 1998.
    "
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  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xc California Scorpio
    I imagine with a steady hand one applies enough force to "grab" the tick at the area closest to the impact of the hosts body with enough force to budge the tick but not so much that you squish it so hard to open. I think you need to think of their bodies like eggs, you would think they are going to break no matter what pressure exerted...simply not true. So now that there are now better tick removal devices, I don't think tweezers are bad advice, just not a preferable one because it is easier with ones like the spoon.
    I strongly disagree. Any tweezers I've seen have two flat sides that come into contact in a squishing fashion. You need a lot of force to pull out a tick. I don't believe you can do it with tweezers without squishing the tick. <-- period.

    If their bodies are like eggs, tweezers are like big vice grips. Try this: glue an egg into an egg carton and try to pull it out with some vice grips. Now imagine that gooey mess is infected with Lyme and get the spoon device.

    A sharp knife and the tip of a fingernail is better than tweezers. Tweezers are only better than nothing.

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