Four TBE cases from ticks

Four TBE cases from ticks


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Bavaria: Beware of TBE from ticks

The tick season has only just begun, and the first cases of TBE (early summer meningoencephalitis) are already being reported in Bavaria. As Minister of Health Melanie Huml (CSU) told the news agency "dpa" in Erlangen on Tuesday, four people have already been registered. She strongly advises vaccination against the tick-borne infectious disease, which can be associated with inflammation of the meninges, brain and spinal cord.

Vaccination protects against TBE Severe courses of TBE can result in paralysis and other permanent damage. "For complete vaccination protection, three vaccinations are required within one year," Nikolaus Frühwein, President of the Bavarian Society for Immunology, Tropical Medicine and Vaccination, told the agency. "Overall, the vaccination is very well tolerated and we recommend it to people in particular who are often in nature. "

A total of 123 TBE cases were reported in Bavaria in 2014. Last year there were about 50 more. According to the Minister of Health, there can be no talk of a general decline in the number of cases. "The TBE risk areas in Bavaria have expanded significantly in recent years," said Huml. Meanwhile, 80 of the 96 Bavarian counties or urban districts have become risk areas for the pathogens. The Upper Palatinate and Lower Bavaria are most affected.

Body-covering clothing protects against tick bites In spring, ticks become active from six degrees Celsius. A walk in the forest or on the meadow is enough to inadvertently give the little bloodsuckers a new blood meal. When they bite, ticks separate the pathogens with the saliva. But not every animal carries the TBE virus. Ticks transmit so-called Borrelia much more frequently. These are bacteria that can trigger Lyme disease. There is no vaccination protection against Lyme disease. However, the disease can usually be successfully treated with antibiotics if it is diagnosed in good time. A typical sign of infection is a red ring around the place of the tick bite. In the further course, muscle and joint pain as well as fever can occur.
If borreliosis is not treated, inflammation of the joints, cardiac muscles and nerves is one of the late consequences.

This year, 140 people fell ill with it. At the time, 100 cases had already been registered last year. "Lyme disease is around 200 times more common than TBE," said Andreas Zapf, President of the State Office for Health, to the news agency.

What is the best way to protect yourself from ticks? In order to prevent tick bites, people who are in nature should wear body-covering clothing, especially long trousers. Because the animals cannot get through the clothes. In order to block their way through the trouser leg, the socks should be pulled over the trousers. Anti-mosquito spray can be applied to free skin areas. It is noted on the packaging whether the product also works against ticks.

After spending time outdoors, the body should be thoroughly checked for ticks. If an animal is stuck, it is important to carefully remove it with the help of a pair of tick pliers. Under no circumstances should supposed home remedies such as oil or glue be used, as this will kill the tick and release its stomach contents - together with bacteria and viruses - into the blood of the host.

> Image: Thorben Wengert / pixelio.de

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