Ticks You should know that with tick bites
What should be considered with ticks and tick bites
Although tick bites are harmless, the small bloodsuckers can transmit Lyme disease and FSME. Rising temperatures increase the risk of being bitten by a tick. At the annual conference of the German Borreliosis Society (DBG) experts will discuss, among other things, treatment options for Lyme disease.
Ticks can transmit Lyme disease and FSME
The warm temperatures attract nature lovers to the outdoors. During the walk in the forest lurks a much underestimated danger. Although ticks are not dangerous at first, they can transmit pathogens that trigger serious illnesses. These include the so-called Lyme disease and a form of meningitis, TBE. Therefore, the Thuringian State Forest Institute expressly warned against ticks, which are active from about seven degrees and in the spring and summer preferably on forest meadows, buried old wood stocks and roadsides. Therefore, skin and clothing should be searched for small bloodsuckers after each forest walk.
Although Lyme disease has long been known and researched, the disease continues to puzzle. "Significant progress has been made in recent years. However, reliable therapy remains a big problem. We are not there yet, "reported Kurt E. Müller, chairman of the German Borreliosis Society (DBG), before the annual meeting of the Association in Schweinfurt. "The diagnosis is not made with sufficient certainty. Findings are often interpreted differently and it is often estimated differently when a Lyme disease requiring treatment is present, "said Müller. As part of the congress, around 140 physicians from Europe and America will discuss, among other things, better treatment options.
Lyme disease is very different
The most well-known symptom of the Lyme disease is the so-called Wanderröte. However, the red ring on the skin occurs only in about one third of those affected, reports the DBG. In addition, fever, muscle and joint pain as well as swollen lymph nodes can occur. The symptoms usually appear within four weeks after the tick bite. If the Lyme disease is diagnosed, the treatment is usually with antibiotics. Often, however, the disease is not recognized. Then, in the later course, it can lead to serious joint inflammation, the so-called arthritis, as well as myocardial or neuritis.
Accurate numbers of infectious and disease cases do not exist in Germany so far. "There are extremely contradictory numbers, because there is no uniform recording," explains Müller. "There are numbers that indicate that around 0.5 percent of the population is newly diagnosed with Lyme disease every year." According to the National Reference Center for Borrelia in Erlangen, there are about 60,000 to 100,000 new cases annually in Germany.
Particularly at risk are Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, where most diseases occur. Overall, however, the spread of ticks transmitting Lyme disease is inconsistent. But they are increasing everywhere, Müller reported. According to experts, Lyme disease is still among the underestimated infectious diseases. After all, there is a mandatory reporting for Lyme disease in East Germany and in Rhineland-Palatinate. Bayern wants to follow suit. Minister of Health Marcel Huber of the CSU explains: "Climate change could lead to improved living conditions for the ticks and borreliosis in Bavaria." In contrast to tick-borne tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), there are for Lyme disease so far no vaccine.
Wear long trousers to protect against tick bites
For protection against tick bites experts recommend body-covering clothing with tight cuffs on socks, trouser legs and sleeves. Strollers can also pull their socks over their pants to deny the tiny bloodsuckers access to the free skin. Light clothing is also better than dark, as the ticks are easier to spot and remove before the tick bites. After each stay outdoors or in the forest, the skin should be thoroughly checked for ticks. Experts also advise walkers to stay on the trails and to avoid bushes or undergrowth accordingly.
Although insect repellents do not guarantee 100% protection against ticks, they can be used in addition to other protective measures. In general, ticks prefer thin and warm skin so that the back of the knees, crotch, arms, neck and head are at particular risk. In children, the ticks bite mostly on the head, while adults are usually affected by the legs.
What to do with tick bites?
If a tick has bitten on the body, it should be removed as soon as possible to reduce the risk of Lyme disease or TBE. Within the first 24 hours after the tick bite, only a few pathogens are normally transmitted. To remove the small bloodsucker tweezers or a so-called ticks tongs should be used. The animal is grabbed by the head and slowly pulled out. It is advisable to consult a doctor after the tick bite for safety, if it is in an area known for Lyme disease or TBE. The bite site should be well monitored in the following days. If symptoms such as wandering redness, sufferers should also go immediately to the doctor.
With the widely praised home remedies for ticks such as glue or oil to suffocate the animal, usually not the desired effect is achieved. Such measures even increase the risk of infection, since the ticks thereby emptying their stomach contents in the bite wound and thus more viruses and bacteria enter the human body. (Ag)
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