Tick ​​and mosquito plague expected in Germany

Tick ​​and mosquito plague expected in Germany / Health News

Humid weather and flood areas ideal for mosquitoes and ticks


Most citizens who have been in parks or nature in recent days have already noticed that mosquitoes and ticks are particularly numerous this year. Among other things, the flood areas are true breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Whether mosquitoes transmit more diseases, you know next year
At night falling asleep, during the day at the lake or in the park and later at the barbecue: mosquitoes annoying! Alone the humming stops many from sleeping and then the itching, red spots in all possible parts of the body, which were not covered. But even through clothing, some of the little beasts sting. Perfumed skin and above all a carbon dioxide-containing breath are almost attractants to mosquitoes, of which only the females sting. Cabbage seems to deter the little bloodsuckers. Lemon or lavender oils are often recommended as natural preservatives, but they also quickly disappear. Dr. Helge Kampen, head of the Laboratory for Medical Entomology (entomology) at the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut Greifswald, explains: „Diethyltoluamide, also better known as DEET, is mainly used in agents that are suitable for tropical areas, and the active substance icaridine is used more in European countries.

Kampen explains how the unpleasant buzzing of mosquitoes, which are also called Schnaken in southern Germany, comes about through their flapping wings. This year the plague threatens to become particularly intense because of the wet weather. „There is no scientific evidence, "says Kampen, but refers to general experience, according to which mosquitoes and ticks like it moist and warm." Prof. Detlef Michel from the Institute of Virology at the University of Ulm says: „We are increasingly expecting mosquitoes to lay their eggs, especially in shallow water, "and thus alludes to the flood areas, which is why it is also quite possible to be stung more often this year. „However, it can not be said that the mosquitoes transmit more diseases. Not yet. We only know this in retrospect - next year, "says the virologist.

Prevent ticks
If you do not want to spend the summer exclusively in closed, air-conditioned rooms, you can not completely escape the mosquito infestation. However, some risks from ticks can be prevented. This is especially important, considering the danger of the small brown animals (an mite species): they can transmit TBE and Lyme disease. The tick ticks the skin with its jaws and then pushes its trunk into the wound. It is therefore a tick bite and not a tick bite, as it is usually colloquially called. On average, about every twentieth tick carries the virus for the dangerous tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), which can lead to meningitis and permanent paralysis, explains Ralph Brodel from the TBE network in Nuremberg. The TBE network is an association to help affected patients. Especially in southern Germany, with a focus on Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, there are many ticks with TBE viruses. Only one vaccine offers almost complete protection. This is usually paid by the health insurance. In 2012, there were 195 cases of reported brain inflammation by ticks nationwide. Prof. Michel explains: „The cases of illness are increasing slightly, as in recent years“ and puts that on „He also says: „FSME has moved closer to the urban areas. "

Not to be confused with Lyme disease
TBE, caused by viruses, is not to be confused with Lyme disease, which is caused by bacteria. Lyme disease, which is also transmitted by ticks, can infect any organ and there is no vaccine against it. Therefore, it is especially important to pay attention to how the spot where a tick was removed evolves. For weeks, it may be that forms a red ring on the spot and this so-called trail blush for borreliosis. The Blaustein dermatologist Dr. Marianna Steinert explains: „Then an antibiotic must be given. "Basically, here is also true: Prevention is better than aftercare For example, against tick bites one can protect oneself by light, arms and legs covering clothes, and one should his body, above all also the head, again and again Because ticks are very small, preferably with a magnifying glass, it soon becomes clear whether a small dark spot on the skin may be a bloodsucker with risk potential.For mosquito bites this is much easier, they itch and usually already has the annoying humming announced that it is ready. (ad)

Picture: Frank Hollenbach