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Geocacher Disease


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Hi Dave-


I don't know the percentages, but I have had it.


This past October Carol noticed the "bulls eye" rash on my leg, otherwise I wouldn't have noticed until I started feeling ill. I got on the antibiotics and knock on wood I've felt fine.


I hope you've caught it quick, and wish you the best, Lyme is nothing to take lightly.


Take care and be well.


Ok, I'll venture a guess. 5%?

Edited by CT Trampers
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Sorry to hear about the LD! Numerous family members of mine have had it, and it is a fact of life if you geocache in areas with ticks...Winters are too cold in my neck of the woods for us to worry about ticks and LD, but I have to be careful when I visit family and friends in Southern NY...and I pick ticks off of my dogs for weeks afterwards (one of our dogs tested positive, and it was the first positive test our vet had seen up here).


Good luck with the treatment, I hope you keep geocaching.



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Oh man, I'm sorry to hear that. What led you to check, the bullseye or symptoms?


In all the years I've been outdoors, in the woods, or geocaching, etc... I've never found a deer tick embedded. I've found a number crawling around, but only in the last year or so, when I finally started actually checking. :P


Makes me wonder how I got by all those years, or how many times one was embedded and I didn't even know it. Hopefully I'm either immune or haven't been exposed to Lyme-enabled ones.


Best wishes on treatment.

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I had Lyme's disease too. I didn't feel ill, but the rash gave it away. It was pretty obvious to me that I had Lyme's disease but the doctor made me wait for the test results before issuing Doxycycline. Considering where the rash was I was amazed that I never saw or felt the tick. My only physical symptom (other than the rash) was that the area was a little sore. After taking Doxycycline for a couple of days the rash disappeared.



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I have had Lyme disease seven times, plus a variant called Ehrlichiosus which almost killed me. I work outdoors and spend all my free time outdoors and have no intention of changing that. Most bites have been on my legs, although I've had two at my waistline. Since ticks crawl, tucking your pants into your socks is not very effective, unless your clothing has been treated with DEET or permetium. I wear ankle gaiters all year as three of my bites have been at my sock line. I got Lyme disease in December, sitting in the grass during a warm spell. I now carry a small stool.


The Lyme Disease vaccine has been withdrawn from the market because it was not very effective and was causing too many side effects. Once you have had Lyme, it is too late to get the vaccine. Also, once you have had Lyme, the blood tests are not much use, as you will always come up positive. My doctor has done a lot of research on Lyme, and he doesn't trust the blood tests much at all, too many false positives and false negatives, he prefers to treat when indicated by symptons.


Honestly though, the insect bites that have plaqued me since I started geocaching have been ant bites, they get on me when I'm crawling around in the dirt and I don't notice them until it starts to hurt, by which time it is too late. I normally hike in shorts, but it is the ants, not the ticks that have made me switch to long pants.

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in my life time i have had 2 ticks (that i know of) inbeded in me. once when i was probibly 10, and last week i thought i felt a big scab right behind my ear in my head, i kept picking at it and it was a tick! AHHH I didnt see it very long but it wasnt fat, and it had been just over 24 hours since i was last in the woods.


I still got what feels like a little scab were he was embeded, i cant see it, should it be something to worry bout'?



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Does the vaccination for lymes work??? I had a series of shots years ago to prevent Lyme D.... I was wondering if anybody else did the same...I don't hear people talking about it.. What happened with it????

The vaccine was pulled. I don't know all the details, you might find something through the USDA or the FDA on it as to why it was pulled. You can search PUBMED for current research on any new vaccines coming out concerning Lyme.

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So, for those who have contracted the disease, how has it affected you and your geocaching experience? Do the meds help alleviate the symptoms?

I had Lyme the summer before I started geocaching, took the antibiotics for a few weeks and the symptoms disappeared almost immediately after I started taking them. (BTW it was my first summer in US, so when I got fevers and headache, I thought it was because of I was not used to the hot weather - only after I got the rash, I remembered it could be related to the tick bite). The unpleasant side effects of the cure were:

- increased sensitivity to sun: long pants and sleeves all the time

- no alcohol: I guess it would be tough to attend Beer & Wings type events and sip cranberry juice there.

Edited by haggaeus
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Had it about a year ago. Really miserable till I got some antibiotics in me. Got a bite right in the middle of my back where I could hardly see it. I've found ticks on my clothing, but remember that deer ticks are extremely small and hard to see. You could easily miss one. The Doc said that of all the cases he sees of Lyme, he has never seen a case where the tick was still embedded. I am a lot more cautious about bushwacking through thick brush now. I've even passed up some of the thick brush "rain forest" caches until winter after the foliage is off the trees and the brush dies off.

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Chances of getting it are pretty much dependant on where you go. I have been in some very rural parts of NJ and never seen a tick on me. Yet where I live they are real prevalant.

Rashes sometimes don't appear in 50 % of the cases.

I won't stop any of my outdoor activities because of Lyme, we just need to be cognizant of the symptoms and do not delay in getting treated.

Lyme tests are not very definitive, my research seems to indicate that, in order of increasing reliability they are: Blood, Lyme Titer, Blood, Western Blot, Urine PCR.


The doctor tells me that these headaches are not due to Lyme but in fact, may be caused by trying to solve Team Ekitt and Team Og's puzzle caches.


I guess if Lyme is the Geocacher's disease, Poison Ivy is the Geocacher's Rash.

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In 25+ years of working and playing outdoors, often in tick infested areas, I've found one tick imbedded and maybe 3 on my clothing. My wife on the other hand has found 4-5 imbedded in the past year and flicked countless ones off her clothing.


It seems that ticks just don't like me. It's similar with mosquitos. I usually go untouched, or have one or two land on me, while others around me are being eaten alive. I do take garlic tabs daily and have often wondered if this has anything to do with it.


I did have an incident with ants when I was about 12 years old and unknownigly sat down on a piece of ant infested candy. All I can say is ouch, those things hurt!

Edited by briansnat
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We've had three members of the team infected with Lyme Disease. Our Bernese Mountain Dog (Bailey) was supposed to join us on the Silver Mine Lake Hunt yesterday but was diagnosed on Friday with her third case of lyme disease.


I know Avroair was thinking about an Edison Hunt in Sparta. Watch yourself there if you do go as leaving with less than 3 ticks is a good day. :D


When my wife, son, daughter and I went to place our Wrecked Jeep cache in that area, we came home with a combined 16 ticks, mostly Wood not Deer. But the Vet up here says that is irrelevant now as both types are carrying the disease. :lol:

Edited by Team Rampant Lion
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I think I must be immune - I work outside and have gotten hundreds of tick bites (deer and dog ticks) and never came down with lyme disease. The itchy welts from the bites that don't go away for weeks are rather annoying though :lol: . I took my mother with me to one cache and she got bit by something and may have gotten lyme disease (not sure b/c it was early on and they gave her antibiotics right away).

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Ticks are what making caching in winter more fun.


I got bit by a Lyme infected tick and went on antibiotics and my dog has picked up Lyme twice and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever once. The little ticks are early in the season when they're in their nymph stage. Now, in the fall, they're usually adults 1/8 inch or so so its easier to see.


I try to wear beige pants and light shirts - makes them easier to see and check fairly often.


The original question the topic starter asked wasn't answered directly. But from the responses it seems like we're in a pretty vulnerable group.


Watch it out there.

Edited by Alan2
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