Monday 1 September 2014


We'd been warned to keep an eye open for ticks and that was one reason I was walking with long trousers. The other was to avoid sun burn. Whilst getting undressed for bed I spotted a fullstop-sized fleck on my thigh. I wondered if it was a tick but it was very flat, I'd assumed all ticks would be engorged with blood and nearly spherical.

I got one of the walk leaders to look and he didn't think it was but still suggested I remove it. Of course the leader who had a tick removal instrument couldn't be contacted. With care I removed it without maiming it and it did its best to run away.

Moving too fast to be an easy photographic subject
The apparent integrity and speed of the thing, which was now clearly a tick, made me feel that I had removed it intact. Over subsequent days this would be confirmed by the lack of inflammation at the bite point.

Whilst Spain, like the UK, is considered to have endemic Borrelia species the tick and small mammal populations the transmission of causative bacteria of Lyme disease is considered to be fairly low if removed promptly. Thus testing and antibiotic treatment are only considered if symptoms develop - especially erythema migrans. I'll have to look out for this through September.

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