TOPIC: Ticks - tick-borne encephalitis

Article

31. 03. 2020

Vaccination and wearing appropriate clothing are the best prevention against tick bites

A tick can transmit many diseases that can have severe health consequences. Good news is, that you can get a protective vaccine for at least against one of them- tick-borne encephalitis. Other diseases are best prevented by wearing good protective clothing when in areas with high occurrence of ticks.
Approximately one in four ticks are infected and transfer different types of diseases, the most common are tick-borne encephalitis and Lyme borreliosis. Based on the newest study published by Protean, who studied more than 12 thousand tick, found that roughly 10.27% of them where infected with Lyme disease, and 2.65% with the encephalitis virus, which can have severe health complications, such as chronic headache, sleep disorders, concentration and balance issues, depression, tremors, paralysis of facial muscles or limbs.

Vaccination as effective prevention

“Over the summertime, we are implementing a fast-track vaccination scheme. This means, that the second dose is administered just 14 days after the first vaccine. The third (and last) dose is given after 5 to 12 months. It is crucial that the client comes at a time when they are healthy and haven’t taken antibiotics in the previous two weeks. It is also important that you maintain a period of rest for at least 48 hours after the vaccination, which means no physical activity and no alcohol consumption. Vaccinations are available at all of our clinics. If you want to maintain a protective level of antibodies, you need to get a top-up vaccine after 3 years, and every 5 years after that”, as recommended by our healthcare professionals.

What to do if you find a tick?

Remove it as soon as you find it to reduce risk of disease transmission. Cover the area of the bite and the tick itself with alcohol-based- disinfection, and let it soak for a couple of minutes. After disinfecting the area, use small tweezers or forceps to remove the tick. Grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible and use a side-to-side motion to gently remove it. It is no longer recommended to use petroleum jelly or to twist the tick in a counter-clockwise manner. Ideally, dispose of the removed tick by flushing it down the toilet.

Don’t underestimate signs and symptoms

Always see a doctor if you start having flu-like symptoms (fever, headache, muscle ache, fatigue, malaise), within 4-14 days of having a tick bite. Keep an eye on the site of the bite, and if within 3 to 30 days you start to notice a growing redness, which usually grows to a minimum of 3cm, but most often closer to 5 cm in diameter, seek medical attention without delay.

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