Backpacker Radio #200 | Lyme Disease Symptoms, Treatments, and Prevention with Dr. Brian Fallon and Noah Johnston

In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are joined by Dr. Brian Fallon and Noah Johnston of Project Lyme to discuss all things deer ticks and Lyme disease. We dive into just about everything one would want to know including Lyme disease prevalence, prevention strategies, treatment for Lyme and chronic Lyme, the latest in medical advancements including prospects for future vaccines, where Lyme is most problematic geographically, how to manage your pet on trail, and much more.

We wrap the show with a Backpacker Radio update regarding a certain AT festival, the triple crown of animals you’d let murder you, some news for PCT and JMT hikers, and also Zach had twins.

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Interview with Dr. Brian Fallon and Noah Johnston

Time stamps & Questions

00:05:22 – QOTD: Have you heard of soft hiking?

00:07:56 – Reminders: We’re going to Trail Days (author page link here)! Take our Listener Survey! 

00:15:25 – Introducing Dr. Brian Fallon and Noah Johnston

00:16:34 – Can you explain the basics of Lyme disease as if we’re in fifth grade?

00:19:37 – Does everyone get some form of a rash when infected?

00:20:20 – What are the most common regions of the body for tick bites?

00:20:56 – What’s the timeframe between a tick climbing onto you and biting you?

00:22:24 – How do you know that a tick hasn’t already bit you?

00:23:50 – What’s the prevalence of that particular virus?

00:24:20 – Discussion about the timeline of Lyme infection

00:26:20 – Are there ever instances when someone’s immune system fights off the infection?

00:28:00 – Tell us more about chronic Lyme disease

00:32:42 – Is a vaccine for Lyme disease on the horizon?

00:34:14 – What was the reaction to the previous vaccine?

00:36:52 – In what regions of the country should people be the most vigilant about Lyme?

00:39:53 – What would your recommendation be for someone struggling with chronic Lyme?

00:41:04 – Is there a particular set of medications or supplements that help these people?

00:45:45 – Would it make sense to include antibiotics in your first aid kit as a thru-hiker?

00:48:44 – Can someone get Lyme disease more than once?

00:49:32 – How do you differentiate between chronic Lyme disease and post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome?

00:50:25 – What’s up with the red meat thing?

00:53:15 – Are there any other medical advances that you see coming related to Lyme?

00:59:00 – What’s the best estimate of the prevalence of Lyme disease?

01:01:44 – What eats ticks?

01:03:25 – Discussion about a vaccine to prevent tick attachment

01:04:39 – What about the vaccine makes the tick unable to attach?

01:05:32 – What other methods of prevention would you recommend?

01:09:45 – Can animals get Lyme?

01:11:39 – Discussion about the Lyme disease vaccine for dogs

01:11:56 – If dogs can get Lyme disease, don’t bears all have Lyme disease?

01:16:35 – Is there any risk in eating venison that’s been infected with Lyme disease?

01:19:22 – How intelligent are ticks?

01:21:52 – Where do ticks hibernate?

01:23:45 – What happens when a tick comes in contact with permethrin?

01:26:00 – Do you know the efficacy of oil of lemon?

01:27:24 – What role does hair play in terms of the likelihood of tick attachment?

01:29:20 – Discussion about tick prevention while camping

01:31:19 – Are ticks active at night?

01:34:00 – Project Lyme resources

01:36:27 – What type of outlook is there for someone with chronic Lyme?

01:42:54 – Tell us more about your background and how you came to be at Project Lyme

01:49:04 – Where should people go to get more information?


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