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Old 28.04.2014, 20:10
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ticks are in big numbers

I found a tick on my child today-wasn't looking as she had been to school today and played only in the school playground.

Locals tell me they are in large numbers because of the mild winter. Please check out the advice below.


https://www.ch.ch/en/ticks/
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Old 28.04.2014, 20:35
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Re: ticks are in big numbers

Yes, a friend's children both had ticks from the local playground in thalwil area...
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Old 13.05.2014, 23:59
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Re: ticks are in big numbers

A friend of mine found a tick on her son in Riehen.
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Old 14.05.2014, 00:07
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Re: ticks are in big numbers

Being a recent arrival, I've just started my course of injections against tick encephalitis and my GP says she's seeing a lot of tick bites at the moment.
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Old 16.05.2014, 21:49
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Re: ticks are in big numbers

And I can see why. Took my dogs out in the woods for an hour this afternoon, and scraped a couple of ticks off them outdoors, then got another six or seven off them when I showered them. Yuck. I think we'll go back to walking in the fields instead...
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Old 16.05.2014, 22:03
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Re: ticks are in big numbers

I heard the tick shot happens over 2 shots-- so....one jab and then a month later another one and the last one, a year later.

Am I already safe after the first shot? Can I go out in the woods? This is starting to freak me out!
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Old 16.05.2014, 22:11
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Re: ticks are in big numbers

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And I can see why. Took my dogs out in the woods for an hour this afternoon, and scraped a couple of ticks off them outdoors, then got another six or seven off them when I showered them. Yuck. I think we'll go back to walking in the fields instead...
They are in the fields, too, and meadows. Last year kids went to a school trip in fields, each came back ticks all over. I'm considering the shot for us.
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Old 16.05.2014, 22:13
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Re: ticks are in big numbers

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I heard the tick shot happens over 2 shots-- so....one jab and then a month later another one and the last one, a year later.

Am I already safe after the first shot? Can I go out in the woods? This is starting to freak me out!
Three shots, two one month apart and the third six months later - the full course protects you from encephalitis for ten years, but even the first shot will give you some protection. However, the shots don't protect you from Lyme's Disease, so if you get bitten you need to go to the GP straight away for a course on antibiotics.

Cover up as much as you can, wear tick repellent (Zecken Stopp) on exposed skin, and don't panic. There's actually only a 1 in 200 chance that the tick that bites you has either disease, but obviously it's better to be safe than sorry.
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Old 16.05.2014, 22:28
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Re: ticks are in big numbers

I don't think you need to go on antibiotics if you get bit. As you say, chances are low that it is carrying a disease. I believe you can take the tick in for testing if you have it, or you watch the bite area for a bulls-eye looking rash. The sooner you catch it, the better, but I don't think running out for antibiotics without testing for the disease is necessary.
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Old 16.05.2014, 22:35
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Re: ticks are in big numbers

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I don't think you need to go on antibiotics if you get bit. As you say, chances are low that it is carrying a disease. I believe you can take the tick in for testing if you have it, or you watch the bite area for a bulls-eye looking rash. The sooner you catch it, the better, but I don't think running out for antibiotics without testing for the disease is necessary.
We've been given the same advice as you Dr Mom - and all members of the family have had tick bites over the last 8 years. With the kids, I remove the tick, clean the area then either take a photo or even draw a circle around the bite point so you remember exactly where it is. None of the bites have ever swollen up so it would seem we have survived without rushing out for antibiotics.

Fields with long grass is where most of our bites have come from. You are only really reducing your chances if you keep the dogs on the path and away from grass or woodland undergrowth.
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Old 16.05.2014, 23:23
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Re: ticks are in big numbers

Beware people, there seems to be some confusing information on this thread which could put someone in harms way.

Ticks can transmit various pathogens. The two most important diseases are:
  1. tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) (early summer meningo-encephalitis ESME)
  2. Lyme borreliosis / Lyme disease

Lyme disease is very serious but treatable if caught early. I was diagnosed with it late last year, never had a bulls eye rash and ended up in the hospital with many complications even involving my heart.

My husband had the bulls eye rash on his neck, never had any symptoms but took the antibiotics on advise of his doctor nevertheless.

If you are your child have a known bite from a tick I urge you to seek medical care right away for the appropriate treatment.

https://www.ch.ch/en/ticks/

http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/
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Old 16.05.2014, 23:48
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Re: ticks are in big numbers

Your link says to watch the area carefully and contact the doctor if you have any further symptoms (rash/fever).
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Old 16.05.2014, 23:51
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Re: ticks are in big numbers

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There's actually only a 1 in 200 chance that the tick that bites you has either disease, but obviously it's better to be safe than sorry.
Chances that a tick in Switzerland carries Lyme disease are quite a bit higher than that - it varies by region but the national figure is 1 in 3.

However, Lyme disease isn't transmitted until the tick has already been feeding for quite some time (we're talking 36 to 48 hours typically). This means that as long as you find and remove all ticks the same day, you're unlikely to catch it.
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Old 17.05.2014, 12:18
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Re: ticks are in big numbers

My GP told me to go in if I was bitten. I'll take her advice on a case-by-case basis as to whether I need antibiotics.

I know there are ticks in the long grass too, but it seems that the dogs are picking up far more in the woods behind the village than in the farmland out front. I brush them thoroughly before we come home in either case, but from now on I'll be doing them with the nit comb.

TBE isn't treatable once you've caught it, so unless you're spending all your time in the city, I think getting vaccinated is essential.

Lyme Disease may not have any immediate symptoms but tends to manifest in long-term, non-specific symptoms like tiredness, joint pain, neurological problems... whatever the downsides of taking antibiotics, my view is that they're significantly better than the downsides of untreated Lyme Disease.
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Old 17.05.2014, 12:40
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Re: ticks are in big numbers

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My GP told me to go in if I was bitten.
I'm sure she's happy to see (and charge you) when it's unnecessary. Nonetheless, standard medical advice is to only see a doctor if there are problems, or you see the rash.
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whatever the downsides of taking antibiotics, my view is that they're significantly better than the downsides of untreated Lyme Disease.
The major downside of unnecessarily taking antibiotics when they're not really needed is called antibiotic resistance. Lyme disease is awful - antibiotic-resist Lyme disease is far worse.
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Old 17.05.2014, 18:56
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Re: ticks are in big numbers

Antibiotics overuse is indeed one of the world-wide societal most problematic issues.

Swiss phycisians luckily tend to comply with a very reasonable rule: "The first rule of antibiotics is try not to use them, and the second rule is try not to use too many of them."

But as long as you do not use it for virtually any kind of disease like it is common in some cultural environments, e.g. see this world's poor citizen, who - even though she comes from a very rich (obviously not equal to educated and considered) background - even stupidly dares to critize her Swiss doctor who refused to give her antibiotics to cure a cold (sic!).

Quote 1: "He then told me to continue to take my cough syrup and proceeded to write me a prescription for a nasal spray and another type of cold medication. No antibiotics was needed. Darn! I really wanted those damn antibiotics."

If you still doubt her hugely arrogant and spoilt (equalizes with dangerous stupidity?) attitude then read this:

quote 2: "Even after all that, I don’t get instant relief for the doctor doesn’t give out the medication. All he did was to write a prescription and I had to make a separate trip to the pharmacy to get the medication. Payment for the medication is separate from the doctor’s fee. If you have insurance, all these would be reimbursed by your insurance company, you just have to make sure that you keep all the receipts to file the claims. And this sums up my experience and my not-so-stellar review of the healthcare system in Geneva."
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Old 17.05.2014, 19:51
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Re: ticks are in big numbers

Who in their right mind calls the doctor to make a house call for a cold?

As far as the tick thing is concerned we've been given the same advise as Drmom and ecb regarding tick bites.
OH had Lymes disease a few years ago which he got from a tick bite he had received in Bostonjust before we flew home. He didn't get the typical bullseye reaction but the site of the bite became badly inflamed and luckily our GP realised that it might me Lymes and treated him accordingly. ( it's not common in Belgium where we were living at the time).
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Old 17.05.2014, 20:11
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Re: ticks are in big numbers

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Who in their right mind calls the doctor to make a house call for a cold?

As far as the tick thing is concerned we've been given the same advise as Drmom and ecb regarding tick bites.
OH had Lymes disease a few years ago which he got from a tick bite he had received in Bostonjust before we flew home. He didn't get the typical bullseye reaction but the site of the bite became badly inflamed and luckily our GP realised that it might me Lymes and treated him accordingly. ( it's not common in Belgium where we were living at the time).
Same thing happened to me - Got bitten in Switzerland and bite became inflamed when I was in the UK. As I realised this was a potential problem I took myself off to the hospital - was just told it was an insect bite (as like BM not a common occurrence in the UK then) but I insisted on another opinion as I realised it was from a tick - luckily saw a Dr who recognised this as a tick bite and got the right treatment thank goodness.
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Old 17.05.2014, 20:29
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Re: ticks are in big numbers

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I don't think you need to go on antibiotics if you get bit. As you say, chances are low that it is carrying a disease. I believe you can take the tick in for testing if you have it, or you watch the bite area for a bulls-eye looking rash. The sooner you catch it, the better, but I don't think running out for antibiotics without testing for the disease is necessary.
My daughter developed a skin rash after she had been bitten years ago. It was a circle and moved around. The doctor said it was like a picture from the mdical books. So you should watch your kid's skin closely. Borreliose, if undetected early, can lead to serious health problems later in life, sometimes 20 or 30 years later when nobody can find the cause any more.
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Old 17.05.2014, 20:50
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Re: ticks are in big numbers

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Chances that a tick in Switzerland carries Lyme disease are quite a bit higher than that - it varies by region but the national figure is 1 in 3.
I read last year that they tested a large sample of ticks collected around the Zürich lake area and approx. 50% carried lyme disease.

There is no vaccine for lyme disease.
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