Tick risk near Issyk-Kul in August/September

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Tick risk near Issyk-Kul in August/September

Post by irnmtn »

Hi All,

I know there has been some discussion of Tick Borne Encepahlitis in this forum, but I wanted to see if anyone could offer me specific recommendations or reassurance. I'm hoping to travel to Kyrgyzstan in late August and early September to do a short horse trek near Barskoon, then go to the World Nomadic Games. Since I live in the US, there is no TBE vaccine available here. Should I be concerend about the risk? I've read that the Siberian variant of TBE (which is essentially the kind found in Kyrgyzstan) is primarily transmitted in the Spring. Further, most of our trekking would be >2000m of altitude. Nonetheless, since TBE is such a serious illness, I was wondering how concerned I ought to be, given then plans described above.

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Re: Tick risk near Issyk-Kul in August/September

Post by steven »

I think you already answered your own question. There is a risk. Does not seem to be a big risk, but it can happen. So the main question is, really, how risk-averse are you?

In any case, with or without vaccination, always check for bites after hanging out in the mountains/forest.
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Re: Tick risk near Issyk-Kul in August/September

Post by Richard Smits »

Ticks are generally waiting for you in high grass, where they drop on your shoes and then work their way up your leg until they find a suitable place to feed on your blood. So avoid high grass and tuck your trousers into your socks to greatly reduce the risk.
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Re: Tick risk near Issyk-Kul in August/September

Post by Julia »

I live in Kazakhstan and regularly go hiking to the mountains both in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
During April-June is a high risk to get tick. After July the risk is lower but still exists. Every year we get reports about number of people got tickets but last two years no cases of TBE.
Not every tick has this virus. In general % of ticks with TBE in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan is very low. I don't have link to statistics but as I remember it's not more than 10% of all ticks here have the virus. Plus even if a tick has a virus, it's not in its saliva. % of ticks having the virus in their saliva is low.
So the chance one can get TBE with tick bite here is really low.
I studied this question carefully as I do active hikes and trekking and was concerned about that too.
I have friends from Russia and yes, in Russian forests ticks are much more dangerous than here.
Remember to wear closes that would cover most of your body, light color and check from time to time. Ticks don't bite immediately, you can notice them and shake off.
Also use repellent. I use Ben's. It helps. And avoid walking in thick grass. Ticks are sitting in the grass.

Don't worry. I have a few friends got bite by tickes. But it happened in May-June. All are alive and healthy. And they spent lots of time in the mountains.

Chances you get a tick are really low if you follow advice above. If got a tick go to the hospital as soon as possible. They give injection.

I meet lots of people in the mountains here. And most of hikers I know never got a tick.
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