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Ticks & Lyme Disease
by smilespwp • Tue 03 Jul 2012 18:35

Anyone had experience of Lyme disease caused by a tick bite in the Creuse.

I've been back in the UK for about two weeks now, but prior to leaving St. Moreil, I discovered a tick which had buried it's head in my upper thigh. Foolishly, I got the main body out (at that point it hadn't gorged itself on my blood), but couldnt extract the head and the front legs which disappeared under the skin. I treated the bite area with antiseptic cream and a dressing and really thought no more about it other than to check the area regularly.

This weekend I have been laid low, with all kinds of pains, nausea and headaches etc.,

I've just done some research on the internet and most of the symptoms of Lyme disease would appear to be consistent with what I have suffered.

Being a typical bloke (ignore it and it will go away), I've come to the conclusion that I will visit the doctor to-morrow.

One question I may get asked is "Are the ticks in the Creuse common carriers of Lyme Disease"

Anyone know?

Best regards

Brian
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Re: Ticks & Lyme Disease
by lestroisours • Tue 03 Jul 2012 18:45

Firstly, get yourself to casualty as soon as possible, as to leave the treatment until tomorrow may prolong the agony. La Creuse is one of the most prevelant areas for the disease according to recent reports. This summer appears to have been for us the worst year. I have removed at least 10 ticks from various parts including the unmentionables, and those ticks have been miniscule, but still caused redness. Anaethetising them with surgical spirit and then turning them free with the tick hook is the best way.

At least you have seen it, and with a good long course of penicillin, you will nip any long term infection in the bud. Last year a tick caused my glands in the groin to inflame, a sure sign of infection. But no Lymes disease after antibiotic for 10 days.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” ~ Charles Darwin
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Re: Ticks & Lyme Disease
by Dave • Tue 03 Jul 2012 18:55

See this thread for a recent discussion.

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Re: Ticks & Lyme Disease
by Annik • Wed 04 Jul 2012 00:23

Definitely do something as soon as possible. A couple of years ago both the maire of our commune and the wife of a previous maire got Lymes Disease from ticks and it was very nasty indeed. It took them months to get over it.

Good luck,
Annik

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. (Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.)" Groucho Marx
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Re: Ticks & Lyme Disease
by smilespwp • Thu 05 Jul 2012 09:12

Thanks for all the advice. I went to see my doctor yesterday and her lack of knowledge didn't really instill me with much confidence. For a start, she wasn't sure if the local hospital could actually carry out tests on blood samples for Lyme disease. Anyway I am now awaiting the results which could take up to 4 days (it will be weekend by then and so 6 days might be more realistic). She won't put me on antibiotics before then, so if I test positive ... tough.

I did actually read that the UK medical profession weren't very good when it comes to Lyme disease. When I offered the information that this part of France has a high incidence of ticks carrying the disease. she wasn't really interested. There was also no offer to try and remove the head, which is still in there and quite uncomfortable.


Looks like this will be another doctor in the practice, I'll be choosing not to see.

Once again, thanks for the information.

Best regards

Brian
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Re: Ticks & Lyme Disease
by lestroisours • Thu 05 Jul 2012 10:59

Ooh! Nasty. There was a program recently about people returning from tropical countries with diseases not well known that ended up in the tropical diseases unit in London that included a guy who had a massive tick on his leg. They got the microscope out to make sure they got out all the mouth parts.

Check here for all the details especially for the olympic visitor advice centre.

Unacceptable service by your medic, as she access to this information.

Travel advce

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Re: Ticks & Lyme Disease
by virtdave • Thu 05 Jul 2012 12:23

Blood tests on people for Lyme disease are tricky, especially early on. Here is the official US government website about Lyme disease. The vaccine for the disease is not even sold any more in the USA because it did not work. I've posted before on this pesky problem, but if you're worried about it, a single oral dose of doxycycline 200mg seems as good as any regime if taken early enough...and the side effects of doxycycline are usually not a serious problem.
To repeat what I've said before, if the tick is attached less than 24 hours the likelihood of Lyme disease is very small--but the disease can be transmitted by the tiny nymphs, which may not be easy to spot.

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Re: Ticks & Lyme Disease
by lestroisours • Thu 05 Jul 2012 13:24

It was the nymphs that got me last year. Nasty beasts.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” ~ Charles Darwin
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Re: Ticks & Lyme Disease
by workwright • Fri 06 Jul 2012 20:28

Hi, I am 63 and have in the last seven years had Lyme twice. (Caught in Scotland but we live part time in Creuse) The first time my doctor missed the symptom, a red bull's eye rash which does not itch or feel hot called Erythyma migrans (I think). First time round 12 weeks after the bite I was very ill,severe muscle pain, weakness, loss of balance, then slurred speach and loss of sensation in my lower body. Doc thought it was a spinal tumour. Luckily my daughter remembered I had been bitten (She was a trainee doc) googled it for me to show the local GP and after a month of antibiotics, some in hospital I started to recover. Second time I knew what was wrong saw the rash got to the GP in France this time, got the antibiotic (deoxycyline is recommended in UK) and it passed with a couple of days feeling unwell. So if the tick was on you for more than 24 hours it could have given you the agent. Go to your GP and get a course of antibiotic, if the symptoms do not ease in a week or so go back. It is not a disease to be dismissed. The earlier the treatment is started the safer you are.

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Re: Ticks & Lyme Disease
by workwright • Fri 06 Jul 2012 20:38

Hi, (Having read your latest post) my doctor in Felletin (Dr Simbellie, Avenue de Gare) knew just what to do. Blood tests are a waste of time since only a few with lyme show positive results. It is the nature of the agent, Borealis burgdorfii to be hard to detect since the highly evolved parasite relies on hiding itself from your immune system. The diagnosis is easiest if you are lucky enough to have the rash I mentioned. Again not all those infected show it. In our home area of Scotland. If you report a tick bite that has been on for at least 24 hours you get one week of deoxycycline. Google it on the NHS site.

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Re: Ticks & Lyme Disease
by smilespwp • Fri 06 Jul 2012 21:19

Update: Got a call from the doctor's surgery 2 days after blood test saying I should contact them, which I did and was told that something had been detected in the tests and they would like me to make an appointment (even then the front desk staff were reluctant to give me an immediate, same day, appointment but after causing a bit of a fuss I got an appointment within the next couple of hours. A different doctor this time, very efficient, and after giving me a full examination. Explained that tests for Lyme disease on blood samples may have to go to London and are rather prolonged to confirm, but also felt that under the circumstances, other tests carried out on the same sample, showing irregularities and the symptoms shown so far, a course of deoxycyline was advisable and before issuing the script she also asked for a second opinion with the lab. After only one day's dosage I can detect a significant improvement in my condition, so hopefully, I'm on my way.

I also noted that she had taken the trouble to confirm the incidence of Lyme disease in the Limousin region.

I made sure that she is a permanent doctor at the practice and along with this and other discussions, my faith in her professionalism, will make me ensure that, any further dealings I have with the NHS will be with her.

Best regards

Brian
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Re: Ticks & Lyme Disease
by Annik • Sat 07 Jul 2012 08:58

I'm really glad you've got it sorted out. I was worried for you.
Annik

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. (Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.)" Groucho Marx
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Re: Ticks & Lyme Disease
by beetle • Sat 07 Jul 2012 11:57

I heartily second that and getting the service you expect out of the NHS - not easy.
This link may be of interest, comprising of four parts with some interesting comparisons (at the end) about how different countries provide treatment.

Lyme Disease in Europe

If you never find what you seek, you never wanted it badly enough in the first place.
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Re: Ticks & Lyme Disease
by Creusebear • Sun 08 Jul 2012 19:16

That is a very scary story, Brian. I am glad you are on the mend.

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Re: Ticks & Lyme Disease
by lestroisours • Sun 08 Jul 2012 20:26

Took another two nymphs of one leg again today, so another anxious wait for a couple of days observation.

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Re: Ticks & Lyme Disease
by virtdave • Sat 06 Apr 2013 21:51

There are some relatively new recommendations about blood testing for Lyme disease...the CDC (the USA's Center for Disease Control) proposes an algorithm to decide when and if to test. There are often (NEW!....IMPROVED!!) interventions both regarding diagnosis and treatment, which are pretty much quackery. Removing the tick within 24 hours without crushing it (using one of the small plastic forks sold in most pharmacies), and looking out for the characteristic 'bullseye' or 'target' skin lesion (for instance, look here) are one's best defense.

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