Badzilla, the disease of champions

It is really stupid to have good information about bilharzia buried in a thread that has thousands of posts. A lot of that was interesting, and no one who was not following the bilharzia discussion in the Froome thread yesterday will ever read that discussion.

To buttress what was posted yesterday, I pulled this from a recent post on Slowtwitch:

"Some of the statements regarding bilharzia by Team Sky cannot be true.
http://velonews.competitor.com/2013/07/news/froome-confirms-no-tue-still-treated-for-bilharzia-parasite_295548

My wife works as a post-doc studying infectious diseases, primarily researching schistosomiasis - which is the more common, scientific name for bilharzia.
The treatment for schistosomiasis/bilharzia is biltricide (Praziquantel) as mentioned, but the treatment is a one-day treatment. Reference here: http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/lookup.cfm?setid=69062df4-b831-4496-b5f3-1c575b1916b8#nlm34068-7 under dosage and adminsitration.

If schistosomasis/bilharzia was diagnosed in 2010, Froome should have been given the one day treatment and it should have no longer been an issue. The only reported occurrences of when the initial treatment does not eradicate the infection is when a heavy worm burden is in the system (i.e. a lot of worms infected Froome.) Even in those cases, treatment does not drag on for 18 months+. A heavy worm burden would also make the symptoms more severe than "I was always getting little colds and coughs, nothing serious".

Thus, it's unlikely to claim that it's still in his system (as of January according to the above article), unless he got re-infected by continuing to come into contact with contaminated waters. Given his reported history with this infection, that would be stupid.

There are other inconsistencies with the claims given:
"It’s not something that just disappears. It’s a parasite. It lays eggs. They might be dormant, then the eggs hatch, then they lay more eggs" - Completely false: Eggs laid in humans do not, and cannot hatch; they can only hatch in fresh water (after being excreted by humans). They also need interaction with snails before the hatched eggs can infect humans again. Source: Under Pathophysiology/Life Cycle - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schistosomiasis, also fairly common knowledge for those familiar with the infection.

Biltricide "basically kills everything in your system" - also false, same link above about the treatment under Adverse Effects - "In general BILTRICIDE is very well tolerated. Side effects are usually mild and transient and do not require treatment." Thus, a week of not being able to ride his bike is a ridiculous statement.

I'm not sure why they would lie to / misinform us about something like this...".


http://forum.slowtwitch.com/gforum.cgi?do=post_view_flat;post=4637362;page=28
 
May 26, 2009
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Great post. I really don't get why the media aren't asking these questions/finding out about the illness and treatment. If time has told us anything, it's not to believe the word of cycling teams and their PR statements.
 
Thanks for posting separately, I missed this one in the Froome thread. Informative...

edit: My first thought is that this is an excellent way to re-establish a baseline for the BioPassport, i.e. please ignore all the #'s we have on this guy, he had/has a RBC-killing disease that we're still working to control.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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Libertine Seguros said:
Quite possibly.

But we're then believing that Froome was developing his skill set (to the point where, were it not for the illness, he'd be becoming a GT contender) but the illness was simply preventing him from reaching that. Not only that but as his skill set increased, the vice-like grip of the illness got worse so that despite improving as a bike rider his results were actually worsening.

Then, the illness suddenly was treated when his contract was due, and he was able to use all of the skills he'd picked up over the last 3 years clandestinely and without anybody ever noticing, and turned into a GT podium rider. You'd have thought that even as he was physically unable to produce the same results, he might have been able to at least stagnate by compensating with improved nous.

It's just too many leaps of faith for a transformation so absurd. The Alpe d'Huez day that mastersracer points out showed enough promise to say that Froome could be a decent pro bike rider, but it's nothing like enough to say that suddenly materialising into a guy who would have won two GTs had it not been for bonus seconds or being hampered by his own team - and who is now seen as the elite climber in the péloton bar none - is not utterly ridiculous. Remember: Emanuele Sella had a good day in the mountains an awful lot before 2008. He still looked ridiculous when that year rolled around.

Change the flag next to his name. Make it a Spanish one. He doesn't have to be a genuine Spaniard as you could then make the argument of growing up with cycling - he could be Argentine or something, like Flecha. Now how's he looking? I have a chaque he wouldn't have so many defenders in the Clinic, and the thread about him would have petered out in a few pages of people agreeing that he was doping.
keywords libertine seguros bilharzia timeline
:cool:;)
 
Jul 15, 2013
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Delighted this has it's own thread as a lot of the discussion was spread out over numerous pages, and mixed up with ascent times and bickering etc etc etc and made late last night.

Here is a NHS UK link I posted earlier about the treatment (but others probably posted all this before me and other relevant info too) http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/schistosomiasis/Pages/Treatment.aspx

Notable parts

'The medication used to treat schistosomiasis is called praziquantel.....
A single dose of praziquantel is usually required....
Steroid medication (corticosteroids) can also be used to relieve the symptoms of acute schistosomiasis.....
A further stool sample may be taken after four to six weeks to check whether there are still any eggs in your stools. If eggs are present, a further dose of praziquantel may be given.

Would it be possible to edit the OP as people add to the thread to have all the inconsistencies/relevant info grouped together for ease of reference?

Also there was a very good timeline of Froome/Sky interviews and quotes with links and dates posted last night

Well done
 
Jul 16, 2013
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BroDeal said:
It is really stupid to have good information about bilharzia buried in a thread that has thousands of posts. A lot of that was interesting, and no one who was not following the bilharzia discussion in the Froome thread yesterday will ever read that discussion.

To buttress what was posted yesterday, I pulled this from a recent post on Slowtwitch:

"Some of the statements regarding bilharzia by Team Sky cannot be true.
http://velonews.competitor.com/...rzia-parasite_295548

My wife works as a post-doc studying infectious diseases, primarily researching schistosomiasis - which is the more common, scientific name for bilharzia.
The treatment for schistosomiasis/bilharzia is biltricide (Praziquantel) as mentioned, but the treatment is a one-day treatment. Reference here: http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/...75b1916b8#nlm34068-7 under dosage and adminsitration.

If schistosomasis/bilharzia was diagnosed in 2010, Froome should have been given the one day treatment and it should have no longer been an issue. The only reported occurrences of when the initial treatment does not eradicate the infection is when a heavy worm burden is in the system (i.e. a lot of worms infected Froome.) Even in those cases, treatment does not drag on for 18 months+. A heavy worm burden would also make the symptoms more severe than "I was always getting little colds and coughs, nothing serious".

Thus, it's unlikely to claim that it's still in his system (as of January according to the above article), unless he got re-infected by continuing to come into contact with contaminated waters. Given his reported history with this infection, that would be stupid.

There are other inconsistencies with the claims given:
"It’s not something that just disappears. It’s a parasite. It lays eggs. They might be dormant, then the eggs hatch, then they lay more eggs" - Completely false: Eggs laid in humans do not, and cannot hatch; they can only hatch in fresh water (after being excreted by humans). They also need interaction with snails before the hatched eggs can infect humans again. Source: Under Pathophysiology/Life Cycle - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schistosomiasis, also fairly common knowledge for those familiar with the infection.

Biltricide "basically kills everything in your system" - also false, same link above about the treatment under Adverse Effects - "In general BILTRICIDE is very well tolerated. Side effects are usually mild and transient and do not require treatment." Thus, a week of not being able to ride his bike is a ridiculous statement.

I'm not sure why they would lie to / misinform us about something like this...".


http://forum.slowtwitch.com/gforum.cgi?do=post_view_flat;post=4637362;page=28
Ha ha,nice one,just copied my reply over from the other thread :eek:
+1 on a Badzilla thread,good to see this has been picked up elsewhere.

As mentioned before the only reason i can see as a layman for continued treatment would be if the Dawg made regular trips to Africa and it was a prophylatic treatment.They are specifically saying its still in his system though ruling that out.

As everyone knows the disease is given as a reason for his lack of performance pre 2011.Fair enough, he was sick and got better with treatment,why drag it out like this ?

I can't see what material advantage is to be gained by maintaining that he still has it in his system nearly 3 years on..

Some might speculate of course !

I'm still suprised that no journalist has pulled them up on this since there seems to be clear contradictions.
 
mudbone said:
Just done a timeline of Froome's Bilharzia condition from quotes in various interviews (dated). Didn't find any real inconsistencies in them (not all quoted here), although it seems he went nine months, instead of the six mentioned, before his last check up. Using the bi-annual check-up meter he should be due one now :)


2009/2010 - Contraction

"I probably had it for year before I found it." (Sep '11)
"I found it 18 months ago and they had probably been in my system for a year before that." (May '12)

Dec 2010 - Diagnosis (and presumably Treatment)

"Bilharzia – it’s a water-borne disease, which I found that I had it in December last year." (Sep '11)

March/April 2012 - Treatment

"I took the treatment three weeks ago and I've got to wait six months to see if it's still active or not." (May '12)

“The bilharzia is not totally cleared up. I did repeat the treatment about three months ago in March. I am clear for now. I need to go check again in August-September." (Jul '12)

“I had a two week treatment in April last year, and have since been clear of the parasite. I have it checked every six months to make sure it hasn't returned.” (Dec '12)

January 2013 - Check-Up (and inferred Treatment)

”I do go for a check-up every six months. The last was in January and it was still in my system. I take Biltricide. It kills the parasite in the system.” (Jul '13)
Mudbone post.
 
taken from the frooome thread

victorschipolrijk said:
Bilharzia , also known as Schistosomiasis

Common treatment for Schistosomiasis :

If you are diagnosed with schistosomiasis, you will probably be admitted to hospital so that your health can be carefully monitored. This will help ensure that any serious complications you have, such as dehydration, are picked up.
The medication used to treat schistosomiasis is called praziquantel. Praziquantel works by first paralysing the worms and then dissolving their outer casing, killing them. A single dose of praziquantel is usually required.
The side effects of praziquantel are usually mild and include:
nausea
vomiting
abdominal pain
Steroid medication (corticosteroids) can also be used to relieve the symptoms of acute schistosomiasis as they help control the allergic reaction to the eggs that is responsible for the symptoms.
A further stool sample may be taken after four to six weeks to check whether there are still any eggs in your stools. If eggs are present, a further dose of praziquantel may be given

Steroid medication
Usually it takes one treatment to get rid of this sickness , but apparently Froome is doing it time and again , and with that excuse he can get a TUE for the corticoids , very clever !!!!!!

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/schistosomiasis/Pages/Treatment.aspx
northstar said:
Froome also had a treatment of praziquantel in June 2011 after Tour de Suisse. So that makes at least four known treatments.

Dec 2010 – at time of original diagnosis
June 2011 - after Tour de Suisse
April 2012 - after Criterium Int’l
January 2013 - before Majorca training camp

This Velonews article today says he has bi-annual check ups and treatments. Not sure if they are referring to both check ups and treatments every 6 months or just check ups.
http://velonews.competitor.com/2013/07/news/froome-confirms-no-tue-still-treated-for-bilharzia-parasite_295548

Interesting to note that 2-3 months after his treatments Froome had some spectacular race results: treatment in June and then 2nd at Vuelta 2011, treatment in April and then 2nd TdF 2012, treatment in January and then 1st Criterium Int’l, ToR, Dauphine, ‘TdF’ 2013. Of course, this could all just be a co-incidence.

Personally, I think he is mildly infected with the parasites and the bilharzia has not hampered him much at all. According to Froome, he felt ‘tired, had coughs and colds, nothing serious’ pre-diagnosis. Doesn't sound that dehabilitating. The bilharzia is just a convenient excuse to explain his lack of development/results in the past.
 
bewildered said:
Delighted this has it's own thread as a lot of the discussion was spread out over numerous pages, and mixed up with ascent times and bickering etc etc etc and made late last night.

Here is a NHS UK link I posted earlier about the treatment (but others probably posted all this before me and other relevant info too) http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/schistosomiasis/Pages/Treatment.aspx

Notable parts

'The medication used to treat schistosomiasis is called praziquantel.....
A single dose of praziquantel is usually required....
Steroid medication (corticosteroids) can also be used to relieve the symptoms of acute schistosomiasis.....
A further stool sample may be taken after four to six weeks to check whether there are still any eggs in your stools. If eggs are present, a further dose of praziquantel may be given.

Would it be possible to edit the OP as people add to the thread to have all the inconsistencies/relevant info grouped together for ease of reference?

Also there was a very good timeline of Froome/Sky interviews and quotes with links and dates posted last night

Well done
This is the same line of treatment if your cat has worms...FWIW
 

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