There are a particularly large number of ticks this year

There are a particularly large number of ticks this year

Summer time is tick time. In addition, when the sun is burning, more people run through the grass without socks and offer the bloodsucker rich prey.

TBE and Lyme disease: Diseases are already threatened by tick bites, not only in midsummer.

In the wood and bushes
In Germany, ticks that also affect humans are the pigeon tick, the riparian tick, the hedgehog tick, the sheep tick - but above all the common wooden goat. It not only frequently sticks to people, but also transmits dangerous diseases.

The common wooden trestle prefers to spend the cold season between wood or in the undergrowth. So if you “muck out” the garden, rearrange the compost or burn the brushwood in spring, you run the risk of being bitten by these ticks.

In nature, the wooden trestle loves near-ground plants in and near the forest, less often in the treeless grasslands. However, we weigh ourselves in false security if we only suspect him in the forest. As far as can be said by a spider relative, he is as much a cultural follower as the blackbird and lurks in the allotment garden as well as in the wild.

Early summer meningoencephalitis
The woodbuck stings are particularly risky because it transmits early summer meningoencephalitis (TBE).

While TBE is often unproblematic and then runs like a flu infection, it can also damage the spinal cord, lead to paralysis and even death. However, TBE infections from the wooden goat are very rare.

There is vaccination against TBE. This is recommended for risk groups: foresters, forest workers, farmers and generally people who live in a risk area. A vaccination three times lasts over a year and provides 99% protection.

Warm, humid regions in Bavaria, Baden-Würtemberg and Austria offer the woodbuck better terrain than northern Germany; therefore the risk is higher there.

The severe form of TBE is not curable, and every second to tenth affected person never fully recovers.

Lyme disease
TBE quickly penetrates the organism and is often transmitted through brief contact with the bloodsucker. The situation is different with Borrelia, bacteria that cause Lyme disease: They are located in the intestine of the wooden trestle and only reach the human body when the tick has been fully absorbed for hours.

With Lyme disease, it is usually sufficient to wipe off a tick early - in contrast to TBE.

When the first signs appear, the doctor should use more antibiotics. In later stages, the disease can hardly be contained and often leads to severe joint damage and nerve disorders years later.

Myths and facts
Myth 1)

Many people think that only the common wooden goat infects us with Lyme disease. But it is not just ticks that carry dangerous Lyme disease: bacterial pathogens also in mosquitoes.

Myth 2)

Ticks don't sit on trees and drop like parachutists, but the bloodsuckers lurk near the ground: between grasses, leaves or ferns, in the bushes and on perennials. They seldom crawl more than a meter. This is also logical, because the warm-blooded animals to which they are sucked rarely have a shoulder height that extends over one meter.

The common wooden trestle has no eyes, but finds its victim with the Hall organ and tactile hair on the legs - it recognizes exhaled carbon dioxide, smell and body heat. Wooden goats cling to their feet, socks or pants.

Myth 3)

If you wear sturdy shoes and long trousers, you will not get ticks. It is a partial truth. Clothing that covers the skin actually protects well because the wooden trestles cannot pierce it.

The nuisances crawl around until they find a free and at the same time circulation. So if you sweat in a jogging suit, you should make sure that the ticks have found their way into the decolette.

Wooden goats look for places that are warm and moist: armpits, armpits, hollow of the knees or the genital area.

In any case, we should take a thorough shower after a warm day outdoors - whether we were cycling, lying around the quarry lake or walking in the forest. We wash off most ticks before they can bite hard. We protect ourselves at the bathing pond by rubbing our bodies while swimming.

Myth 4)

TBE affects only the southern Germans? That is a half-truth again. In fact, most cases of this brain infection due to tick bites are known from Bavaria and Baden-Würtemberg. However, TBE is also occasionally found victims in northern and eastern Germany.

The Robert Koch Institute provides information about the risk areas.

Lyme disease is more common in the south and east, but it is also rampant in northern Germany.

Myth 5)

Ticks are best removed clockwise if they have been drizzled with oil beforehand.

However, oil is unsuitable because the tick suffocates on it. However, we should always remove them alive. If the wooden goat dies while its aspirator is in the skin, it often pours out its intestinal contents - and with it the bacteria that trigger Lyme disease.

Instead, we take a tick loop, tweezers or tweezers, if necessary also a thumb and forefinger, take the animal directly at the puncture, pull carefully without crushing the wooden trestle. Then we wait a moment. Usually the tick will come off when we hold it.

The tick's suction prick is covered with barbs. If she doesn't let go, we gently turn back and forth to loosen the barbs. Then we count: a tick has eight legs like a spider. Ideally, none of it remains in the skin - otherwise it could become infected.

1) Take a repellent with you. While almost all of these repellents proved to be defective in tests, they are better than no protection at all. Apply the repellent to clothing and skin.

2) Wear long pants, put your legs in your socks and your shirt in your pants.

3) Take a “tick remover” with you on excursions, a sling, pliers or tweezers, as well as a disinfectant and a plaster for the puncture site.

4) Treat your dogs and cats with an anti-tick agent during the hot months. Firstly, this will prevent your animals from getting sick, secondly, the female woodbuck cannot suckle fully and lay eggs.

Lyme disease symptoms
A new test for faster early detection of Lyme disease is used to combat this dangerous disease in the first stage.

You can also check for yourself whether the tick bite has transmitted Lyme disease. When the bacteria penetrate the skin, so-called reddening occurs in 4 out of 5 cases. The skin in the puncture area turns red, which is why there is also a reddish inflamed hem, in the form of a “target” or “eye”, with the stitch as a “pupil”.

Often, those affected already suffer from the symptoms of flu, headaches and body aches, and fever. If you discover such symptoms, go to the doctor immediately.

There is no need to panic, but healthy caution is advised to avoid tick bites. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

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Video: How to prevent Lyme Disease