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Appalachian Tater
09-12-2006, 17:00
How many thru-hikers got Lyme disease? There seem to have been a good number of cases this year.

I'm also curious as to where they were exposed to it and whether or not they had a rash.

The ticks got me in Pennsylvania and I had the classic bull's-eye rash.

Amigi'sLastStand
09-12-2006, 19:26
How many thru-hikers got Lyme disease? There seem to have been a good number of cases this year.

I'm also curious as to where they were exposed to it and whether or not they had a rash.

The ticks got me in Pennsylvania and I had the classic bull's-eye rash.
Do a search here on WB, "Lyme Disease". All the info you need, other than very recent cases.

Appalachian Tater
09-12-2006, 22:07
Do a search here on WB, "Lyme Disease". All the info you need, other than very recent cases.

Thanks, but I am interested in the 2006 cases so I posted this in the "Class of 2006" forum.

Amigi'sLastStand
09-13-2006, 09:18
Then title it, "Lyme Disease in the Class of 06", not just Lyme Disease.
And yes search, we have had numerous discussions over this year of ppl would have had Lyme in the class of 06

orangebug
09-13-2006, 10:57
It is really quite early to make any determination of how common Lyme disease has been among the 2006 class. Even checking with state public health departments won't get you much information except for 3 months ago (perhaps).

Prevention remains the key ingredient to dealing with Lyme. Long sleeves and pants, gaiters, DEET or pyrethrines, and avoidance of sitting in grass are good starts. Sponge bathing every other day may also be an excellent idea to dislodge the tick before it has a chance to transmit the spirochete.

Appalachian Tater
09-13-2006, 12:23
Then title it, "Lyme Disease in the Class of 06", not just Lyme Disease.
And yes search, we have had numerous discussions over this year of ppl would have had Lyme in the class of 06

Do you suggest that every thread in the "Class of 2006" forum include "Class of 06" in the title?

Amigi'sLastStand
09-13-2006, 12:50
Do you suggest that every thread in the "Class of 2006" forum include "Class of 06" in the title?
No, but if it's this generic, it helps to keep things organized, and to keep from rehashing the same topic, that's all. Titles should explain what the thread is about as specific as you can for the info you want. FWIW.

handlebar
10-08-2006, 11:49
I definately had Lyme, but never had the characteristic rash. Believe I got it from a tick bite in southern PA during the monsoons in early July. I had been doing 18-20 mile days and suddenly found myself hanging in bed until 8am (usually arose at 6am) and doing much lower miles. It was hot, yes, but I'd had the heat during the 18 and 20 mile days. Felt like I had the flu and had a slight fever. Since I was home for a wedding, camped out on my doc's office at 7am the day I returned to the trail insisting he prescribe doxycycline. Got a voice mail that the test came back positive. Given the nasty effects if left untreated, I'd advise any hiker with summer flu symptons to consider the possibility of Lyme. The long term effects are really debilitating and $20 worth of antibiotics can cure. Within 2 days of starting the antibiotics I was feeling better in spite of the continuted hot, humid weather in NJ.

Incidentally, it's been found in regular ticks, not just deer ticks.

One of the saddest cases I saw was at UpperGoosePond, where a Teddy of the Ewoks exhibited the characteristic bull's eye rash and had just that afternoon been told by a physician's assistant had told her she didn't have it. She and the Ewoks had made a great effort to get to a clinic only to be ignored. To my mind, this is malpractice. That same night, with a high fever, she was evacuated by canoe and ambulance to the ER where she was finally treated. Sadly the whole episode took the wind out of her sales, she fell behind her hiking partners, and eventually got off the trail.

Moral of the story: Firmly insist on treatment if you suspect Lyme. Better to err on the side of safety--an ounce of prevention with Lyme is worth a pound of cure. Many doctors aren't as uptodate on it as I was after a simple web search. Also docs try not to overmedicate with antibiotics.

highway
10-08-2006, 17:06
A good point & good advice I'll try and remember!

For Lyme, when in doubt medicate

greentick
10-08-2006, 17:32
A good point & good advice I'll try and remember!

For Lyme, when in doubt medicate

This PA's rule of thumb with patients *with risk factors* is that "it is lyme dz unless you can prove something else is causing the symptoms," like influenza or mono. The rash is not present in 1 out of 4 patients and the test is unreliable. Doxy costs like .07 per tab and the earlier you treat the better. I have had 2 in the ER in the last few weeks. One was proven to be something else, the other got doxy just in case. Neither had a rash. One had a tick for an indeterminate amount of time the other had been in the woods a few days prior and while he did not notice any ticks, others in his hiking party did.

In defense of the non-treating PA in the clinic (keeping in mind that I know nothing else about the case) we are at the mercy of our supervising physician. If they say no to our treatment plan, it's no. You just have to know your stuff and convince them otherwise. Of course, that doesn't work all the time either.

Also, doxy does carry some significant side effects, like being more susceptible to sunburn (or as we said in the army "it's a tanning adjunct...:cool: ") and the risk of a severe intestinal infection:eek: . But medicine is full of Risk-Benefit compromises.

I would hit up your primary care for a course to either carry along, or have available for someone to mail to you "on-call."

AND IMPORTANTLY: Doxy (AKA vibramycin) and it's cousin Tetracycline are some of the few drugs that actually "go bad" after expiring. Most meds just lose potency. These become poisonous to your liver (if I remember correctly). In any case, it's dirt cheap, if they expire, toss em.

ScottP
10-10-2006, 16:45
&%*$(# Lyme, %)(# ticks, and %()*^% Duchess county of New York.

Thanks to the trail angels that took me in for around 2 weeks when I was in VERY rough shape.

My signs also started at upper goose pond (just a little lethargy), and I became VERY ill in Dalton, at Tom's house. I stayed there several days, tried to hike on (with no success), hitched from the next road crossing to a trail angel's house in Vermont, stayed there for around 10 days, got treatment, and hit the trail, very slowly--5 mile days, with an average speed of less than 1 mph, an in-shelter 0, etc.

FurTrappers
10-11-2006, 16:34
It's a %$&%[email protected]# ain't it!!!

Fur....

Hot Rod
10-30-2006, 13:14
I got diagnosed with Lyme disease after reaching Rangeley, Maine. As part of the Maine Train, we constantly checked ourselves for ticks. I never got the typical bull's eye mark. I began to suffered facial paralysis, which caused me to get medical attention in Farmington, Maine. At first they thought it was Bell's Palsy, but when the test came back, it was positive for lyme. By the time I reached the hospital, I was suffering from respiratory problems that made it difficult to climb any heights. I tried getting meeting my friends in Caratunk a week later, but my respiratory problems kept me from continuing northward. After hiking nearly 2,000 miles, it was very difficult for me to admit defeat and leave the trail.

I hate ticks.

MarcnNJ
10-30-2006, 14:07
I know of about 6-10 hikers who contracted Lyme this year, including Handlebar....also off the top of my head: Suncrow, Carnivore, Burkenstock, Linc....most had the bullseye, and contracted it in the mid-adlantic states....VA-NY....

vipahman
10-30-2006, 14:23
After hiking nearly 2,000 miles, it was very difficult for me to admit defeat and leave the trail.
IMHO, under your circumstances, almost 2000 miles is as good as completion. Lots of dancing bananas for you. :banana :banana :banana :banana

orangebug
10-30-2006, 17:12
... After hiking nearly 2,000 miles, it was very difficult for me to admit defeat and leave the trail. Bull Hockey!

You went far further than 99.5% of the rest of the country, and you got sick. You had to take the time to recover from the illness, and are succeeding at that. Forget the idea that you failed, as you now have a very nice section hike planned for next year.

highway
10-30-2006, 17:39
I know of about 6-10 hikers who contracted Lyme this year, including Handlebar....also off the top of my head: Suncrow, Carnivore, Burkenstock, Linc....most had the bullseye, and contracted it in the mid-adlantic states....VA-NY....

i wonder, as a curious thought, is there a pattern here for the likelihood of contracting those pesky ticks while sleeping? In other words did their sleeping preference loction...ground, shelter, hammock...enter into this as a factor. Or, does one just pick up the ticks brushing branches as one walks by thickets.

MOWGLI
10-30-2006, 18:15
Sorry to hear about your trip Hot Rod. AT least you still live in Maine and can finish the trail easier than most who live in the other 49 states. My wife is still struggling with the after effects from Lyme contracted in '92. Consider yourself lucky to be diagnosed and treated in a day & age when the treatment is far more effective than it once was.

Sleepy the Arab
10-30-2006, 18:35
Lot of people got Lyme this year. Considering how bad I am at checking myself, I'm surprised I didn't get it. On the other hand, my habits are somewhat on the cautious side. I rarely, if ever, lay in the grass. I use a tent. When walking through overgrown grassy spots, I go through quickly, don't stop, and check my legs afterwards. You get the picture.

Pokey2006
10-30-2006, 21:04
Highway, the one time I found a tick on me was after camping in a grassy field (in Port Clinton, PA).

A lot of people got them by walking through grassy fields, and there are a lot of those in the Mid-Atlantic. I recommend using a pair of very lightweight hiking pants, something that protects your legs while not being too uncomfortable in the heat.

You can get ticks in the woods, too, but your chances of attracting ticks is greater when you're in the grass. Or so it seemed to me.

Hope that answers your question.

highway
10-30-2006, 23:12
I no longer hike in long pants and I doubt I ever will again. It is just not comfortable for me. But I only hike three-season. So I'll take my chances with the pesky ticks, I guess.

Pokey2006
10-30-2006, 23:31
People did make fun of me for hiking in long pants. Didn't do it because of the ticks -- just takes me a LOT before the heat gets to me. Love the heat!

Avoiding ticks is an added bonus, if you can get comfortable hiking in pants. Ya, not for everyone.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
10-31-2006, 07:50
::: makes note to self to sew-up some no-u-see-um mesh pants :::