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Recognize infectious ticks: which ones carry encephalitis and borreliosis

Anna OnishchenkoSociety
How to recognize infectious ticks. Source: Created with the help of AI

Ticks are arthropods that parasitize animals and humans. With the arrival of spring and warming weather, these small but dangerous insects wake up after their winter sleep and look for something to eat.

Ixodes ticks that live in grass can transmit diseases dangerous to humans, such as encephalitis and borreliosis. The Ministry of Health has explained how to protect yourself and realize that you should see a doctor.

It is almost impossible to notice that you are being bitten by a tick because these insects are very small. In addition, the parasite's saliva contains painkillers.

If you see that a tick has already attached itself to your skin, do not apply oil to it, because, while panting, the insect can squirt more fluid into the wound, which will contain pathogens.

Also, when twisting it out, you should never crush it or tear off a part of its body, so if you have the opportunity, it is better to seek medical help right away.

Recognize infectious ticks: which ones carry encephalitis and borreliosis

Unfortunately, the appearance of the insect cannot be used to tell for sure whether it has infected you or not. Only a laboratory can give a definitive answer. However, within a few days after the bite, symptoms may begin to appear that will make it clear that the tick was not a simple one.

What the bite site looks like in case of infection

If you experience redness, itching, or a feeling of heat in the area where you were bitten, you should consult a doctor.

In addition, the bite site will look different depending on the type of infectious agent. For example, in the case of Lyme disease, a characteristic red spot appears on the skin, which is called a "bull's eye".

Recognize infectious ticks: which ones carry encephalitis and borreliosis

Encephalitis

This viral disease affects the brain and is usually transmitted through a tick bite. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease, so doctors can only reduce the symptoms.

The incubation period of the disease usually lasts 7-14 days, but there are cases when it manifests itself after 70 days. Most infected people first notice a fever of up to 38-40 degrees. They may also experience weakness, nausea, muscle pain, and lack of appetite. After that, infected people feel better for about 8 days, but then the second phase of the disease begins.

The best protection against tick-borne encephalitis is early vaccination. This is especially important for people who are often outdoors, such as foresters, military personnel, or fishermen.

Lyme disease

Lyme disease, also known as borreliosis, is a bacterial disease. The incubation period usually lasts up to 30 days.

The primary symptoms of this disease are a fever of up to 38-39 degrees, redness at the tick bite site that may look like a target and migrate, as well as joint pain, heart pain, or partial paralysis.

It is worth noting that in 20-30% of cases, a red spot may not appear at the bite site.

If the disease is not detected and stopped as soon as possible, it will become chronic and cannot be treated with effective medication. That is, the longer you do not see a doctor, the harder it will be to cure you.

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