This is usually noticeable through reddening of the skin

May 9, 2020 7:50 am Published by

This is usually noticeable through reddening of the skin

Questions about the tick: mistakes and trivia
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Mild winter: increased risk of ticks

When the winter is particularly mild and temperatures rarely drop below zero, ticks develop and multiply. "From a soil temperature of around 7 degrees Celsius there is a risk of infection, because then ticks look for a host", explains Prof. Jochen Süss, head of the national reference laboratory for tick-borne diseases in Jena "".

Relatively warm winters mean that ticks multiply earlier than usual and that their eggs are not damaged by warm winters. Mild temperatures increase the risk of TBE infection and cause an increased risk for people who are often in the great outdoors.

2012 significantly fewer ticks and TBE diseases

According to statistics from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the number of ticks and the meningitis TBE caused by them fell significantly in 2012 compared to 2011. While 416 cases were reported across Germany in 2011, there were only 195 in 2012 – the lowest level in ten years. The reason for the low number of ticks was the long period of frost. Nevertheless, there is still an increased risk of tick bites in many parts of Germany.

According to the statistics, TBE diseases occur in all age groups. The consequences are permanent damage such as paralysis, swallowing and speech disorders or even death. As Dr. Wolfgang Hautmann from the Bavarian State Office for Health and Food Safety explains that severe courses can be observed especially in men over 40. But there are also rare cases in children.

Symptoms are often misunderstood

If the TBE virus is transmitted by a tick bite, flu-like symptoms such as headache, body aches and a slight fever occur after about four to 14 days. The danger at this early stage is usually underestimated: those affected do not expect a serious infection, but only assume a harmless infection.

The problem: after a short time, the TBE virus can penetrate the central nervous system and cause life-threatening meningitis. The symptoms intensify. The consequences are severe headaches, high fever or stiff neck. As the disease progresses, speech and impairment of consciousness can occur and cause permanent paralysis. Infection with the TBE virus is fatal in around two percent of all those affected. (Ticks: you should know that) Symptoms and consequences of tick bites

Why are ticks so dangerous?

Ticks are mite-like animals that attach themselves to other animals by biting in order to feed on their blood. They lurk mainly at the edges of the forest, in bushes as well as in meadows and fields and wait for an animal to attach themselves to. The pathogens contained in the ticks’ saliva are transmitted to the host when they are bitten. In most cases, ticks are content with mice, cows, dogs or wild animals. But humans are not immune to the common suckers either.

The problem: A tick bite carries the risk of transmitting viruses and bacteria, which in the worst case can lead to meningitis like that "Early summer meningoencephalitis" (TBE) can lead. TBE is particularly widespread in southern Germany. Therefore, people living there are recommended to get vaccinated against TBE.

Lyme disease: the underestimated disease of ticks

However, there is no vaccination against another tick-borne disease: borreliosis. This disease, caused by bacteria, can become lodged anywhere in the body – primarily in the nervous system or joints. In contrast to TBE, there is a risk of borreliosis infection by ticks all over Germany. But don’t worry: "Not everyone who has a tick gets sick"as Professor Peter Sefrin explains to the Red Cross. If a tick is removed early, only a few bacteria have entered the body, so that a good immune system can cope with the pathogen. Knee pain after a tick bite can indicate Lyme disease

Early vaccination recommended

For the south of Germany, Dr. Hautmann therefore has an early vaccination against TBE: “In principle, everyone who is in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg should be vaccinated against TBE. With today’s mobility, this does not only apply to people who live in risk areas. ”But vaccination is also recommended if you do not live in a risk area but are often in the great outdoors.

Borreliosis: Everything you need to know at a glance Lyme borreliosis: How to protect your child from dangerous tick bites Rapid tick tests: What are they good for? Removing Ticks: How To Do It Right

Special tick sprays and long clothing are supposed to protect against tick bites. However, in addition to all precautionary measures, you should regularly check your body for ticks in order to be able to consult a doctor in good time and to alleviate serious consequences. (Prevent, treat and remove tick bites)

an argumentative essay

A vaccination against Lyme disease is currently not possible. There is only one way to prevent the disease: avoid tick bites. Precautions are currently the only way to prevent Lyme disease. Ticks prefer to stay on plants close to the ground in order to move from their branches or leaves to animals or, if necessary, people "rising up" to be able to. Contrary to popular belief, arachnids do not let themselves fall from trees.

Questions about the tick: mistakes and trivia
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Long clothes are the best protection

You should wear closed-toe shoes on meadows with tall grass, in the undergrowth of forests and in river landscapes. Long pants and tops provide additional protection for the body. Ticks are easier to spot on light colored clothing. The parasites can thus be removed in good time before a bite occurs.

Bug spray as additional protection

Creams or sprays against insects can offer additional, but not reliable, protection. These anti-tick agents can be used as a supplement – for example under long clothing. However, these agents are often unsuitable for babies.

Self-exam at home

To prevent Lyme disease, you should check your entire body for ticks in between or at home at the latest. Favorite places are small folds and bends, such as under the arms. In children, you should especially examine the hairline thoroughly. If the tick has not yet bitten, simply wipe off the parasite and dispose of the animal.

Tick ??bite: what to do?

If the tick bite has already occurred, you can still minimize the risk of Lyme disease by removing the tick as quickly as possible. Before the Borrelia (pathogen causing Borreliosis) are transmitted, it may take a few hours. Under no circumstances should you irritate the parasite with supposedly effective home remedies such as oil, nail polish or glue. This only increases the likelihood that the tick will secrete its saliva with the pathogen. Use tweezers but do not squeeze the parasite. Apply them directly to the skin and gently pull the parasite out. Do not make any turning movements. Then disinfect the bite site and keep an eye on it.

Lyme disease signs: How to recognize Lyme disease symptoms

Borreliosis: Everything important at a glance Borreliosis diagnosis: Symptoms often unspecific Protection against Lyme disease: Does the tick vaccination help? Removing Ticks: How To Do It Correctly Quick Tick Tests: What Are They Good For? Borreliosis protection: new gel is supposed to prevent

If in doubt, see a doctor

If a circular reddening occurs after the tick has been removed, you should consult a doctor immediately.

Borreliosis therapy is inevitable if borreliosis bacteria (Borrelia) have entered the organism through a tick bite. Treatment is usually given by giving antibiotics and lasts between two and four weeks.

Questions about the tick: mistakes and trivia
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Borreliosis therapy: the earlier, the better

Treatment should be started as early as possible to avoid complications. It becomes problematic when the disease is recognized too late or therapy is started too late.

In the worst case scenario, Lyme borreliosis (also called Lyme disease) can cause permanent damage. These include, for example, joint problems, chronic pain or even neurological damage (neuroborreliosis).

Lyme disease is almost always curable

Don’t panic after a tick bite: only about every fifth tick carries Borrelia in itself. If there is actually an infection, experts believe that 70 to 90 percent of the time it heals without any negative health consequences.

Nevertheless, it is advisable to consult a doctor if you have the slightest suspicion. Borreliosis is treated by giving antibiotics. If the therapy is started early, these are usually taken over a period of two weeks.

Treat advanced Lyme disease

In the advanced stages of the disease, the therapy can take a longer time. Medication may need to be given as an infusion. Therapy for advanced Lyme disease can be successful even if the disease has remained untreated for years.

Borreliosis: Everything important at a glance Lyme borreliosis: How to protect your child from dangerous tick bites Borreliosis diagnosis: Symptoms are often unspecific Rapid tick tests: What are they good for? Borreliosis protection: new gel is supposed to prevent

Prevent Lyme disease – is that possible?

Researchers have succeeded in developing a gel that is supposed to prevent Lyme disease from developing. After the tick bite, it should render Borrelia on the skin – the cause of the infection – harmless. The drug is currently in the test phase. In the event of approval, this would be the first form of Lyme disease prophylaxis.

Borreliosis (also called Lyme borreliosis) is caused by an infection by bacteria from the Borrelia group. It is mainly transmitted via ticks.


From ticks to humansNo panic after a tick biteWho is particularly at risk? Pets as a vector? Wandering rednessSymptomsDiagnosis Lyme diseaseBorreliosis stage 1Borreliosis stage 2Borreliosis stage 3TreatmentDangers of borreliosisBorreliosis Preventing confusion of Tick vaccination and Tick vaccination ME

From tick to personHow does a small bite turn into Lyme disease?

After a tick bite, the bacteria enter the human organism via the tick’s saliva and can cause infections. Borrelia are especially dangerous for humans if they are undetected and untreated for a long time.

Don’t panic after a tick bite Most Lyme disease infections are harmless

Most tick bites have no consequences. Lyme disease is very rare, especially if the tick is removed within 24 hours. Only a small percentage of all Borellia infections actually lead to diseases. According to experts, around 70 to 90 percent of all Lyme disease infections heal without any negative health consequences. Nevertheless, it is advisable to consult a doctor even in suspected cases.

Who is particularly at risk? These groups of people need to be extra careful

Basically, there is a risk of infection for all age groups. People who spend a lot of time in nature are more often affected by tick bites. Children of kindergarten and primary school age as well as older people between the ages of 60 and 70 are most likely to be affected. As with many infections, the same applies to Lyme disease: A good body’s own immune system counteracts an infection.

Pets as carriers – ticks from dogs and cats

Ticks can be transmitted to humans through pets. According to a study by the Robert Koch Institute, the likelihood of transmission from cats is even higher than that from dogs. Before the tick has bitten itself on the animal, it can hit humans "skip". This means that pet owners are at greater risk, especially if they stroke or cuddle cats or dogs.

The most typical Lyme disease symptom

If Lyme disease bacteria enter the body after a tick bite, the body’s own immune system reacts with inflammation. This is usually noticeable through reddening of the skin. This spreads in circles a few days or even a few weeks after the tick bite – in some cases it fades again in the middle. The rings have sharp borders and do not itch. In addition, such skin changes can also form on the entire body – and not just around the tick bite.

Caution: Immediately after the tick bite, the body reacts with severe inflammation, redness and swelling at the puncture site. This is not yet the wandering red. This swelling caused by the bite disappears after a few days. In contrast to the wandering red, it is a maximum of four centimeters. 

The so-called wandering reddening is not always so clearly pronounced and can even be absent entirely. For this reason, Lyme disease is often recognized too late or not at all.

Wandering redness: If Lyme disease bacteria enter the organism after a tick bite, the body’s own immune system reacts with an inflammation. (Source: anakopa / Getty Images)

Symptoms: Other signs of Lyme disease are often unspecific

If a tick bite is not noticed, it is often difficult in retrospect to associate physical symptoms with a Lyme disease infection. Days to weeks after a tick bite, the following symptoms can confirm the suspicion of borreliosis:

Joint or muscle pain, high temperature or fever, night sweats, fatigue, swelling of the lymph nodes, conjunctivitis

Learn more about: Symptoms and signs of Lyme disease Misdiagnosis: Lyme disease is often underestimated

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