Tick protection Experts call for vaccination against FSME
In Baden-Württemberg, almost twice as many people were affected last year by the tick-borne infectious disease FSME (tick-borne encephalitis) as in the previous year. Almost the entire region is a risk area. Experts therefore call for vaccinations.
Number of FSME cases has almost doubled
In the past year, significantly more people in Baden-Wuerttemberg suffer from the tick-borne meningitis FSME (tick-borne encephalitis) than in the previous year. According to a statement from the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK), the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), with a total of 116 patients, had almost twice as many patients as in 2015, when a total of 60 people became infected. Reason for the increase is the Impfmüdigkeit many people in the southwest.
Most people become infected with recreational activities
"Since the vaccination rate according to RKI in Baden-Württemberg is insufficient, the numbers have increased as feared quickly again, as the environmental-climatic factors were favorable," said Andreas Vogt, head of the TK-Landesvertretung Baden-Württemberg.
According to TK, the number of TBE cases depends, among other things, on the vaccination rate, the spread of the ticks in the respective year and the number of days on which people can stay outside due to weather conditions.
According to medical sources, 90 percent of TBE sufferers become infected with recreational activities. Especially in older people, the disease can be difficult. About one third of the infected people have symptoms of illness.
First, there are flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting and dizziness. At around ten percent, according to doctors, meningitis and encephalitis are also associated with the risk of lasting damage such as paralysis. In one to two percent of sufferers, the disease leads to death.
Almost the entire southwest of Germany is a risk area
"Anyone who enjoys traveling in nature, even if only in the garden or park, should therefore take precautions," says Vogt. According to the RKI, the vaccination rate in the southwest is insufficient. Not even one in three Baden-Württembergers is fully vaccinated against TBE according to an older survey.
As the news agency dpa reports, called the health insurance and state health department to get vaccinated. Because with the exception of the city district Heilbronn the entire southwest risk area.
According to Vogt, the vaccination should take place in good time before the early summer, because time has to pass between the three vaccination appointments. In addition, a higher sensitivity for the danger is needed. This is particularly large here, said a spokeswoman for the State Health Office in Stuttgart.
Nationwide, the number of cases increased in 2016 from 219 to 342. With 159 people affected, most infections occurred in Bavaria. There and in Baden-Württemberg are 123 of the 142 counties in Germany, which are currently reported as TBE risk area.
Protection against ticks
In addition to TBE, ticks can also transmit Lyme disease. Although no vaccine protects against this infectious disease, it can be treated with antibiotics.
Basically, it is best to protect yourself from ticks as well as possible. It makes sense, for example, to put the pants in the socks when you are traveling in the undergrowth and wearing long-sleeved clothing. Special insect sprays can keep the little animals away.
If you notice ticks on the body, you should remove them quickly with tape. If the animal has already sucked in, it is important when removing not to squeeze the blood bag, as this may result in infectious saliva or intestinal contents getting into the bloodstream of the affected person. (Ad)