What Is Rose Pickers Disease

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What Is Rose Pickers Disease

Post by neptune on 8th April 2016, 23:33

This is something I didn't know.........

What Is Rose Picker’s Disease: Tips On Preventing A Rose Thorn Infection

By Stan V. (Stan the Roseman) Griep
American Rose Society Certified Consulting Rosarian – Rocky Mountain District

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that emergency rooms treat more than 400,000 garden related accidents each year. Taking proper care of our hands and arms while working in the garden is extremely important in preventing some of these accidents. The thorn on a rose stem provides an excellent device for transmitting infectious material into your skin, as is seen with rose picker’s disease, a fungus from rose thorns. Read on to learn more.

What is Rose Picker’s Disease?

I had never heard of rose picker’s disease or the Sporothrix schenckii fungus until about 8 years ago now. Had someone told me about this before, then I would have thought they were joking due to my being a Rosarian. However, the disease and the fungus became very real to me when my dear mother fell into a climbing rose bush in her backyard. She got several puncture wounds from that fall and a few nasty cuts. Some thorns had also broken off in her skin. We cleaned her up, removing the thorns and using hydrogen peroxide on the wounds. We thought we had done a thorough enough job, learning later we had not!

My mother started to develop these hard bumps under the skin that were itchy and painful, eventually breaking open to drain. I will spare you the rest of the nasty details. We took her to the doctor and then to a specialist that was also a surgeon. The entire ordeal went on for nearly two years with antibiotic drugs and surgeries to remove the nodules. Had we taken her to the doctor as soon as possible, be it against her will, perhaps we could have saved her the grueling experience.

The first doctors were perplexed by what they saw, and the specialist surgeon told me that he was going to write a medical paper on the entire situation. That is when it really hit me that what we were dealing with was extremely serious – these were symptoms of rose picker’s disease.

Preventing a Rose Thorn Infection

Sporotrichosis is a chronic infection characterized by nodular lesions of the subcutaneous tissue and the adjacent lymphatics that make pus, digest the tissue and then drain. Some of the diseases that may be caused by Sporothrix are:
•Lymphocutaneous infection – localized lymphocutaneou sporotrichosis
•Osteoarticular sporotrichosis – the bones and joints may become infected
•Keratitis – the eye(s) and adjacent areas may become infected
•Systemic infection – sometimes the central nervous system is invaded as well
•Pulmanary sporotrichoisis – caused by the inhalation of the conidia (fungal spores). Seen in about 25% of the cases.

Sporothrix typically lives as an organism that obtains nutrients from dead organic matter such as wood, decaying vegetation (such as rose thorns), sphagnum moss, and animal feces in the soil. Sporothrix is especially abundant in areas where sphagnum moss is abundant, such as in central Wisconsin.

So is rose thorn disease contagious? It is only rarely transmitted to humans; however, when the sphagnum moss is collected and used for floral arrangements and such where it is handled a lot, the right conditions are provided for the transmission to some degree.

Wearing those heavy, hot gloves while handling or pruning roses may feel like a huge inconvenience, but they do provide great protection. There are rose pruning gloves on the market these days that are not as heavy really with protective sleeves that extend up the arm for additional protection.

Should you be poked, scratched or pricked by rose thorns, and you will be if you grow roses for any length of time, take care of the wound properly and right away. If the wound draws blood, it is definitely deep enough to cause problems. But even if it doesn’t, you could still be at risk. Do not make the mistake of thinking that treatment of the wound can wait while you finish your pruning or other garden chores. I understand that it is an inconvenience to drop everything, go treat a “boo-boo,” and then go back to work. However, it truly is very important – If nothing else, do it for this old rose man.

Perhaps, it would be worth your while to create a little medical station of your own for the garden. Take a small plastic paint bucket and add some hydrogen peroxide, individually wrapped gauze pads, wound cleaning wipes, tweezers, Bactine, Band-Aids, eye-wash drops and whatever else you think appropriate in the bucket. Take your own little garden medical station with you each time you go out to work in the garden. That way treating a wound does not require travel to the house to take care of it. Keep an eye on the wound, even if you think you took care of things properly at the time. If it becomes reddish, swollen or more painful get yourself in to see your doctor immediately!

Enjoy gardening in a safe and thoughtful manner, after all our garden friends need our shadow there!

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Location : Western Australia
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Re: What Is Rose Pickers Disease

Post by LouiseJB on 10th April 2016, 21:10

Thanks Neptune. A good reminder for all of us.


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Location : Kilcoy, Queensland
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Re: What Is Rose Pickers Disease

Post by Alya on 13th April 2016, 04:05

Not just the Rose Thorn Infection we should be careful about: Don't forget wearing the goggles too! In my case anyway.

Three months ago I was planting my bare root roses 200 of them -We are in England. We were in the middle of December freezing wind blowing through the bones. So I had no choice but to cover up with thick clothing and the water proof gloves and so on. I got on with the planting using the mycorrhizal fungi and the mushroom compost. At some stage some particles of mushroom compost stuck into my eyes. I cleaned my eyes and got on with the planting as usual. Few week later, one day I woke up with my eyes blood red aching very dry itching swollen with stabbing sensation in the eye ball. All the curtains were drawn all day and I was wearing the sunglasses at home even in the evening in the dark with candle light.  I thought I would give a bit of time for the eye to settle. The following day the eye got worse.  My husband was at work all day. When he came  home at 5 pm he drove me doctors surgery. The moment  my GP saw my eyes she rang the hospital spoke to the eye specialist and sent me there immediately. The hospital quizzed me about how I was spending my days what I was doing working on and so on. The doctors had a go at me for being so stupid and ignore such condition in the eye. It turned out to be the dust particles, the mycorrhizal fungi and the particles of the mushroom compost all contributed to my eye troubles. These small dust particles made my eyes unable to produce tear to keep the eye moist so that the eye balls can function in the way we know it. Also the glands just underneath the eye lashes that carry the tears to the eye ball were all blocked and inflamed. It was horrendous being forced to put eye drops to the eyes  every half an hour for 24 hours a day and for continuous 2 months not forgetting the massages the hot pad treatments to help the eye recover.  

Now I am much better indeed but still have to be very very careful indeed because one it arrives the dry eye condition will never leave. It will ease there will be times it will get worse because even the smallest damage to the glands within the eye lids is irreversible.

And guess what: The work and safety glasses are never off my eyes when I am doing any work in the garden or anything to do with soil or dust particles.

It is incredible to see the dust particles gathering on the safety glasses. If I was not wearing the glasses all of those dust particles and germs would have gotten into my eye. When finished work I clean the glasses too. I wash them with washing liquid and rinse thoroughly under running warm tap water. And then my eyes get the full wash too. Obviously I don't use the washing liquid for my eyes. I use the soap made of pure olive oil with no added preservatives. And tilt the head so that the eye will come in contact with the gentle running water.

Just hate to think what we are inhaling too. But this would be OTT. So if I am  working with dust particles like the mycorrhizal fungi I am now making sure my head is far away to stop inhaling potentially dangerous things into the lungs.

I do not want to have another horrid experience. Also I do not want to give up roses and my garden. Life without mingling with the roses feels meaningless.  No part of my body is invincible. I am not invincible. So I'd be better off with being careful take care of my body too as well as my roses and enjoy the life to the full with my roses with me.


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Re: What Is Rose Pickers Disease

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 13th April 2016, 06:41

So sorry to hear of your troubles Ayla. The things we take for granted, "sight", such a valuable thing, How did Ian take all this. ? I hope you are OK now.
The Lazy Rosarian

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Re: What Is Rose Pickers Disease

Post by neptune on 13th April 2016, 08:58

Like David, sorry to hear what you have been going thru.......I hope the healing has come on for you..

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Re: What Is Rose Pickers Disease

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