Ticks alarm in Germany?
Ticks: alarm in Germany? Lyme disease and early-summer meningoencephalitis (TBE) are two diseases that can be caused by ticks. There is much misinformation about both diseases, including prevention, consequences and treatment, and about ticks themselves.
Lyme disease and early-summer meningoencephalitis (TBE) are two diseases that can be caused by ticks. There is much misinformation about both diseases, including prevention, consequences and treatment, and about ticks themselves. Frequency of occurrence:According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), there were 313 cases of TBE and 5707 cases of Lyme disease in Germany in 2009. Whereby Lyme disease cases only have to be reported in the new federal states. Furthermore, according to RKI nationwide „five to 35 percent of the ticks“ with the causative agent of Lyme disease, the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. In TBE, which is mostly widespread in southern Germany, up to five percent of ticks, the common wood buck (Ixodes ricinus), the TBE virus can spread.
Symptoms and consequences: TBE is associated with flu-like symptoms such as limb and headache, fever and possibly vomiting. As a result, about one third of those afflicted can get encephalitis or brain inflammation. Of these, around ten percent should be able to retain manifest and irreversible damage to the nervous system (eg, deafness or choking).
The borreliosis usually has a characteristic reddish circular courtyard at the sting site of the tick after one to two weeks, which is steadily growing larger. Subsequently, many patients get nonspecific symptoms as in the TBE, but possibly additionally swollen lymph nodes. About one in five people affected by Lyme disease can get an infestation of their organ system. When nerves, the heart or the brain are affected, this can manifest in an inflammation of the meninges or the heart muscle, cardiac arrhythmia, deafness or paralysis. A special feature is the so-called Lyme arthritis dar. These are arthritis, which can occur one to two years after infection. About one in ten with Lyme disease can affect the involvement of one or more joints.
Treatment: There is a vaccine against TBE, but not against Lyme disease. The TBE vaccination is recommended by the official authorities for the risk areas Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and partly Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse for many outdoor stays. Since the symptoms are quite unspecific, the Lyme disease is otfmals difficult to diagnose. When diagnosed, antibiotics are given.
Ticks and their bites: Ticks do not sit on trees, but in up to knee-high grass. On average, approximately two percent of bites are estimated to cause infection. If you spot the tick immediately and remove it from the usually thin skin area where it has contracted for less than half a day, Borrelia infection is more than unlikely. It is best not to treat the tick with any means, but simply remove it with your head close to the puncture site. There are now special tick tweezers. It is enough practice, which usually have many dog owners, but also a normal tweezers.
prevention: The pathogens are transported by the ticks with their saliva, with which they also numb the puncture site, into the human organism. Therefore, it is unfavorable to irritate the tick when pulling out too much, for example, by squeezing or treatment with chemical agents. A myth that persists is that you should turn the tick in a certain direction when pulling out. For this there is no clue - it seems the direction does not matter, the main thing is fast and the head comes out with.
The best preventive measure is wearing long clothes. If the color is white, the black creepy-crawlies will catch on faster. After an outdoor day, it is of course helpful to examine predestined areas for ticks. Especially in skin folds such as popliteal, underarm, groin and genital area and on the neck and head should be searched. (Thorsten Fischer, Naturopath Osteopathy, 15.04.2010)
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