Ticks - not just a worry for dogs, but runners too

I know most of us are suffering with unseasonally low temperatures and heaps of snow, but I'm optimistic that spring is just around the corner. However it's not too early for us outdoors runners to start thinking about one of the unwelcome aspects of the warmer weather - tick bites. This week is Tick Bite Prevention Week

tickbitepreventionweek.org/

As a 'tick-magnet' I wrote about this on my Outdoors blog last year. The majority of times I've picked up ticks has been when out hillwalking and/or camping, but I did get one of the wee blighters attach itself to me leg when running in the woods adjacent to the village.

If you're interested, this is what I shared on my blog: swanscot.wordpress.com/2012...

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  • Good blog, Swanscot.

    As well as Lyme Borreliosis, which you can't be immunized against, in mainland Europe ticks also spread a kind of meningitis/encephalitis (TBE) - and this can be fatal.

    There is an effective immunization programme against TBE and anyone heading for Austria, Switzerland, Germany etc should think seriously about it. Ideally you start this (it needs a couple of jabs before it's effective) in winter but there is a fast track possibility too. You are then resistant for years.

    I live in an affected area and I wouldn't dream of not getting immunised as necessary, but tourists often don't... and ticks are very easy to miss...

    tbefacts.com/about-tick-bor...

    tbe-prevention.info/m-4557.php

  • Thanks for the reminder, Mitts. I've not been hiking in Switzerland for years and had forgotten about TBE.

  • Fred the mutt seems to manage to pick a tick up every couple of months, to the point where he runs and hides when he sees the green tick remover tool! Thankfully we've only had one human bite, my son when he was about 4, after roly polying down a hill in the New Forest.

    I remember the days of flashing the passing motorists (not deliberately) while changing at the side of the road, generally after canoeing and occasionally caving. Does that mean I'm getting old?

  • Good reminder. Ugh! I've only had dealings with ticks once, in Cumbria, I think, but that was before I knew they could carry disease as well as being repulsive.

    I didn't know about the TBE thing, so that was interesting and useful too.

  • Tick removers available from that site or from Amazon amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00...

    Should be possible to get them for less than £5 - money well spent!

    If you are interest in some of the science and risks to people using the countryside see:

    forestry.gov.uk/fr/animaldi...

    And a handy leaflet

    iosh.co.uk/pdf/Lyme%20Dises...

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