Dangerous infectious disease: fewer cases of Lyme disease reported
The cases of Lyme disease in Thuringia declined significantly last year. In the worst case, the infectious disease caused by bacteria and transmitted by ticks can lead to death. Vaccination against the disease is not available. Therefore, you should protect yourself well against ticks when staying in nature.
Ticks transmit dangerous diseases
Ticks can transmit dangerous infectious diseases such as early summer meningoencephalitis (TBE) or Lyme disease. The former only occurs in certain risk areas that can be viewed on a map of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). However, the latter is widespread nationwide. However, the number of diseases has decreased in some regions of the Republic.
Significantly fewer cases of Lyme disease in Thuringia
According to a message from the dpa news agency, 454 people in Thuringia suffered from the bacterial-borne and tick-borne infectious disease Lyme disease.
The number of reported cases has decreased significantly compared to the previous year (575 cases), the Ministry of Health said.
According to the information, the ministry already knows 21 cases this year.
Because what many do not know: ticks can also be active in winter when the temperatures exceed about seven degrees Celsius.
Only a small number of those bitten get infected
TBE, which can lead to inflammation of the brain and meninges, is considered dangerous, but Lyme disease can also be life-threatening.
Not every tick bite causes Lyme disease, but if you notice a blush on your skin after a stay in the countryside, you should definitely see a doctor - even if you haven't noticed any of the creepy crawlies.
"The occurrence of borrelia in ticks fluctuates very strongly both regionally and in small areas and can be up to 30%," writes the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on its website.
According to the experts, scientific studies have shown that around five percent of people bitten by a tick become infected with Borrelia.
"Only a very small proportion of those infected, around one percent, develop symptoms of the disease," says the RKI.
Illness can lead to death if left untreated
Signs of the disease include general symptoms such as fatigue, night sweats, fever and non-specific joint and muscle pain.
The so-called "rash" - a red ring that forms around the tick bite - is a 100 percent symptom, but only occurs in half of the patients.
If you are not sure of redness after an insect bite or bite, you can compare it with pictures of the so-called Erythema migrans on the Internet.
If the disease remains undetected and untreated, it can lead to chronic damage to the heart, nerves and joints, and in the worst case, to death.
There is no vaccine against the disease. Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics.
Protect from ticks
It is best to protect yourself from ticks to avoid infections. Ideally, you should stay on the trails for walks.
When hiking, you should always remember to wear long pants and, if necessary, put your legs in your socks. Special sprays, so-called repellents, can also keep the crawling animals away.
In addition, one should search thoroughly for stays in nature and, if necessary, react quickly.
Hurry after a tick bite. The animal should be removed as soon as possible, because: "The tick has to suck for a long time before the pathogen is transmitted," writes the RKI.
“The risk of infection increases after a suction period of more than 12 hours. If you remove the tick early, the risk of transmission is therefore very low. "(Ad)