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Thursday, 18 May 2017

Ticks, Tick Prevention & Lyme Disease

Ticks & Lyme Disease
Remember getting ticks at school? It helped reinforce what we were learning. For example, when learning to write you had to create sentences with a selection of words. So if your word was “fish,” in your best handwriting you would write something along the lines of “The fish swims in a bowl.” Sometimes the writing task was to reinforce a concept, idea or fact. This involved writing a word or sentence out 5 or so times to ingrain the concept.

In each case, if the standard was acceptable to the teacher you would receive a tick; a symbol of approval indicating you had grasped the word, learned the skill or accepted the concept. Therefore something that is really worth learning and needs reinforcing is that not all ticks are a symbol of approval! On the contrary. If you get a Tick bite in the countryside, you could end up getting Lyme Disease.


What is a Tick


Ticks are spider-like wee beasties that like to suck the blood out of you. They can be found in gardens, woods, moorland, grassland, heather, and vary in size. If you are an angler, dog-walker, hunter, camper or hillwalker, you should be aware that some Ticks - not all - carry Lyme Disease which is a serious bacterial infection with severe consequences.

Adult Sheep Tick


A Tick begins life as an egg which then progresses to larvae, nymph and then adult. Contrary to what you may believe, it's more common for the nymph to bite you, not the adult. To the naked eye, a nymph looks like a small seed and not far off the size of a full stop. As the nymph is so small, it's so easy for it to go undetected.  Therefore you should always be vigilant.

A Tick Nymph on the Skin

Contracting A Tick


Ticks like to hole themselves up on vegetation to await some unsuspecting victim on which to jump. This can be a mouse, bird, dog or human. They latch onto the host with their hooked legs. Once attached, they find a nice spot on the unfortunate victim's skin to feed before taking a bite. They then start gorging out on blood.  The Tick then swells in size and starts to resemble a slightly beige coloured, chocolate covered raisin.
Feeding Tick
Ticks are non-discriminatory. If its first unfortunate victim is an animal, it can pick up an infection from that animal and transmit that infection to the next animal or human it bites. You won't notice the bite as it's painless but once the Tick has latched on, it will feed for 5 or 7 days before they can't take any more. The longer they are attached, the greater the risk of infection to the host.

In humans, the common place to get a Tick is on the legs so if you are wearing shorts and walking through vegetation, a Tick will see you as a tasty meal. For small children, the most common site of contraction is above the waistline or scalp.

What is Lyme Disease


Borrelia Burgdorferi, more commonly as Lyme Disease, is a bacterial infection which is contracted from a Tick Bite. Many people with early-stage Lyme Disease develop a distinctive circular rash at the site of the bite, usually around 3 to 30 days after being bitten. The rash can resemble a red-like spot with an outer red ring that looks more like a target. The rash can expand over several days or weeks but can also be much larger or smaller than this.
Tick Bite

Symptoms of Lyme Disease


The symptoms of Lyme Disease are complicated. Besides a rash, some people with Lyme Disease also experience flu-like symptoms in the early stages. Other symptoms include tiredness, fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, headaches, fever, chills and neck stiffness.

If untreated in the early stages, things can get serious after several weeks. In this case, symptoms to look out for include pain and swelling in the joints, problems affecting the nervous system including numbness, paralysis of facial muscles, memory problems and difficulty concentrating. Other serious issues include heart problems, heart failure and meningitis.

In the long term, a few people with Lyme Disease can go on to develop symptoms of Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Consulting your Doctor


The seriousness of Lyme disease cannot be underestimated so if you think you have been bitten, and are experiencing the above-mentioned symptoms, you should consult your GP immediately. Because Lyme Disease symptoms are like everyday medical conditions such as flu, diagnosing it can be very difficult. So it may be necessary for your doctor to carry out a blood test to confirm the diagnosis. If the symptoms are long lasting, you may need to see someone who specialises in infectious diseases.

Treating Lyme Disease


In the early stages of Lyme Disease, patients are treated with appropriate anti-biotics and usually recover rapidly and completely.  Therefore in treating Lyme Disease early diagnosis is critical.  However more serious cases may require the use of intravenous treatment.

Tick Repellent


If you do go outdoors and don't want to be a Tick's dinner, it's important to cover your skin and apply Tick repellent such as Care Plus Anti Tick Repellent to uncovered skin. Care Plus Tick contains Citriodiol which is the essential oil of the Lemon Eucalyptus tree. Citriodiol is DEET-free and blocks the Tick's olfactory receptors (sense of smell to you and me) that are attracted to a substance found in human sweat and breath. So basically, to a Tick, you look and smell like a big lemon and are invisible.

Care Plus Anti Tick Repellent

Ultrasonic Tick Prevention


If you don't fancy smelling like a big lemon, and don't want to be a Tick's lemonade, you can opt for a Tick Less Pet Ultrasonic Tick and Flea Repeller or a Tick Less Hunting Ultrasonic Tick and Flea Repeller. These devices emit a series of multiple sounds on different frequencies that are harmless and imperceptible to both people and animals. These sound impulses disturb Ticks and repel them away from people thus preventing bites.

TICK LESS Pet Ultrasonic Repeller

The ultrasonic approach is non-toxic, non-chemical, odourless, harmless to people and animals but target Ticks and keep them at bay. Ultrasonic devices such as the Tick-Less can operate between 1.5 to 3 metres and are very effective in Tick prevention.
TICK LESS Ultrasonic Tick & Flea Repeller

Tick Removal


If the necessary precautions have been taken: you've covered the skin, applied Tick repellent or have invested in an Ultrasonic Tick Repelling Device, this will reduce the risk of contracting a Tick and receiving a Tick bite. Yet, if you do find yourself in the situation where you find a Tick on the body, it should be removed immediately. The goal is to remove ALL parts of the Tick's body to prevent it releasing more saliva or regurgitating its stomach contents into your bite wound.
Care Plus Ticks 2 Go Tool

If you do try to remove a Tick, it is advisable to use a special Tick removal tool such as a Care Plus Tick Out Remover. The Care Plus Tick Removal Tool removes Ticks with minimal risk of damage to the Tick and thus any exchange of fluid. The tool is simple to use and operates like tweezers. Depress the button at the top to open the jaws and grab the Tick by the head without squashing the body. Next, pull the Tick out slowly without twisting it. It must be noted that perseverance is required as the Tick may offer considerable resistance.  Another Tick removal tool that does the job is the Care Plus Ticks 2 Go.  This removes Ticks quickly and safely with just a simple sliding motion.

Care Plus Tick Out Remover

After the Tick has been removed, clean the bite site immediately with an alcohol wipe and clean the Tick Out removal tool with an antiseptic solution. You must also wash your hands thoroughly afterwards to avoid further spread of the infection.

Do not try to remove a Tick with your fingernails as Lyme Disease can enter through breaks in the skin near the fingernail.

Summary


So as discussed, Ticks are nasty little blighters that transmit Lyme Disease which can be serious. So if you do spend time in the outdoors, don't be a Tick's dinner. Make sure you are protected by either covering your skin, using Tick repellent or an ultrasonic Tick device. And if you do find a tick on you or your dog's skin, immediately remove the pesky thing with a Tick tool such as the Tick Out before it does some serious damage. And don't Twist the thing. Pull it out slowly!

If you follow this advice, you will receive a big healthy tick from fishingmegastore for keeping yourself safe in the outdoors.

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