Ticks transmit infectious diseases

Ticks become active in early summer. They are then at a stage in which they suck blood from living things such as animals and humans. They can transmit pathogens during the suction process. The risk of being infected by tick bites is particularly high in Baden-Württemberg. Here up to five percent of all ticks transmit the TBE virus and up to 35 percent the Lyme disease bacterium. That is why the Baden-Württemberg State Health Office is now recommending protective measures to people who are often in their own garden and in nature. Ticks do not fall from trees and cannot jump. Instead, they wait for creatures to come to them, for example by climbing on blades of grass or low shrubbery. There they wait until an animal or a person comes by and strips off the tick. The tick then sticks, often it still wanders around on the body. There it likes to look for wrinkles in the skin, where it feels comfortable and warm. The most important protective measure against tick bites and thus also against the infections transmitted by ticks are long clothing and sturdy shoes. Ticks are easier to spot and remove on light-colored clothing. After a walk in the forest, you should search yourself and your children for ticks. You can get vaccinations against one of the diseases (TBE) that ticks can transmit, from your family doctor. If you get bitten, you should quickly remove the tick and disinfect the wound. It is best to grab the tick with a pair of tweezers or a special tick removal tool near the surface of the skin and pull it slowly and straight out of the skin. The tick should not be gripped by the full body and should not be turned when removed. Before removal, the tick should never be drizzled with oil or glue, as was previously recommended in home remedies. Otherwise the tick may release even more viruses or bacteria into the stab wound via its saliva. More detailed information can be researched at the Robert Koch Institute: www.rki.de


Eine Zeckenzange. Foto: tünews INTERNATIONAL / Ute Kaiser.

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