Even before the start of spring: the risk of disease from ticks is already high
Although the temperatures in many places are still very low and spring is still around the corner, there is already a risk of infection from tick bites. The small crawling animals transmit serious diseases such as TBE and Lyme disease. The first cases of illness have been reported in Bavaria.
Ticks are active before the beginning of spring
Even if spring has not really started, ticks can already be found in forests and meadows. The little animals also lurk in the garden. It is not the tick bite itself that is dangerous, but the diseases that can be transmitted through it. Of particular note are early summer meningoencephalitis (TBE) and Lyme disease. You can get vaccinated against the former. But not all people do that. Three TBE cases have already been reported in Bavaria this year.
Risk is highest from April to October
Bavaria's Minister of Health Melanie Huml (CSU) therefore called for protection against TBE to be protected. The politician, a trained doctor, said: “Ticks can transmit dangerous infectious diseases such as early summer meningoencephalitis (TBE). The risk is highest from April to October. That is why it is high time for a vaccination. "She added:" This year, three TBE cases have already been reported in Bavaria. Last year there were a total of 127 TBE cases in the Free State. That was four more than in 2014. "
"TBE is not a trifle"
According to a press release from the Bavarian Ministry of Health, more and more regions in Bavaria have been declared as a TBE risk area since the notification for TBE diseases. Currently there are 82 of the 96 districts and independent cities. According to experts, 90 percent of TBE sufferers become infected during leisure activities. The Minister warned: “TBE is not trivial. Inflammation of the meninges, brain or spinal cord can result. The disease can be particularly severe in older people. ”According to Huml, around 30 percent of those infected develop symptoms. First, there are flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting and dizziness. Around ten percent also develop meningitis and brain inflammation with the risk of permanent damage such as paralysis. The disease leads to death in one to two percent of sufferers.
Three vaccinations required
At a joint press conference with the Minister of Health, Dr. Nikolaus Frühwein, President of the Bavarian Society for Immunology, Tropical Medicine and Vaccination: “For a complete vaccination protection three vaccinations are necessary within one year. Protection is available for 90 percent of those vaccinated 14 days after the second vaccination. This is sufficient for the current season. ”People living in high-risk areas and staying outdoors are usually advised by health experts to be vaccinated against the disease. Holidaymakers and commuters should also consider vaccination protection if they are traveling in the risk areas in nature.
Long clothes protect against ticks
In addition to TBE, ticks can also transmit Lyme disease. No vaccination protects against the infectious disease caused by bacteria, but it can be treated with antibiotics. Therefore, the sooner the disease is discovered, the better. It is best to try to protect yourself from ticks if possible. For example, it helps to put your pants in your socks when you're out in the undergrowth and to wear long-sleeved clothing. Special insect sprays can keep the little animals away. If you notice ticks on the body, you should quickly remove them with adhesive tape. However, if the animal has already sucked in tightly, it is important not to press the blood sac when removing it, as this may cause infectious saliva or intestinal contents to get into the affected person's bloodstream. (ad)