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Tick-borne danger

To begin with, these are not insects, and they have not six legs, like a cockroach, but eight, like a spider. The olfactory organs are located on the two front pairs, therefore, in nature, the tick clings to the grass with two rear pairs of paws, and the front ones, putting them forward, smell, touch and grab. Ticks rarely rise above 40 cm above the soil surface. It is a common misconception that a tick jumps on a person's smell from trees. In fact, sitting on grass or shrubs growing along roads and trails, ticks cling to the clothes of a passing person. Then the tick creeps under the clothes, most often on the back, neck, scalp, axillary and inguinal areas, where there is more delicate skin, and is sucked there. They are unpretentious in food and welcome any warm-blooded spine. Whether it be a mouse, a dog, a deer or you.

The female tick has a size of about 3 mm and a reddish-brown abdomen. The male is smaller and black. After drinking blood, ticks can increase up to 15 mm in length. Ticks are common everywhere from Europe to the Far East. In the process of development from an egg to an adult, the tick goes through the stages of larva and nymph. This occurs for about 3 years, during which the tick overwinters in the litter and parasitizes on small rodents. From them, he receives all the infections that he subsequently suffers to humans. Among tick-borne diseases, the most common are encephalitis and Lyme disease.

Encephalitis is a viral disease. Viruses infect the spinal cord and brain. The incubation period is from 3 days to 3 weeks. The disease begins with a sharp increase in temperature to 39-40 C and is accompanied by headache, aching joints, cramps. Possible atrophy of the muscles, including the heart, disorders of the musculoskeletal system, brain damage with the ensuing consequences.

The causative agents of Lyme disease are microorganisms - Borrelia. Lyme borreliosis is much more insidious than encephalitis. There is no vaccination against this disease, and in the case of the disease, the immunity is very short-lived. In the first year, lime borreliosis is either asymptomatic or with symptoms of a cold and often does not cause anxiety in a sick person. But in subsequent years, the disease can give complications to the cardiovascular system and musculoskeletal system. A characteristic sign of tick-borne borreliosis is a bright erythema (spot) on the skin at the site of a bite. The spot of regular round shape is small at first, but then spreads out to the edges for several weeks and reaches 15-20 cm or more in diameter. As the spot expands, its central part brightens and the spot becomes a ring that lasts up to a month. The appearance of a spot can be accompanied by temperature, malaise, an increase in lymph nodes.

When traveling to places of increased tick activity

If possible, vaccinate against tick-borne encephalitis. In most cities, there are specialized medical institutions where in the autumn-winter period vaccination is carried out with various types of vaccines. It is necessary to visit such a center in advance, and doctors will pick up a vaccine for you according to the characteristics of your body and budget.

Most information sources advise wearing clothes with long sleeves and hats, tight-fitting cuffs, tight collars, and tie the head and neck with a scarf. Such an outfit does not save against tick attacks, it restricts movements very much, in hot weather it can cause overheating and heat stroke especially if you are actively moving. Thanks to the flat body, the tick easily moves under the most dense clothes, and tight cuffs are not an obstacle for it. In the folds of clothes, ticks can linger, fall into the tent together with clothes or bite you on a halt when vigilance is euthanized. The most important point when being in the tick-borne zone is self-and mutual inspection. During operation, it is necessary to inspect clothing, body and head every 30 minutes. Aerosol repellents are also possible. Guidance on the use of repellents is described in detail on the packaging. At the end of the working day, a detailed examination of the whole body and clothing is recommended. Work clothes should be left outside the tent. Do not lose vigilance at the bivouac and repeat the inspection before going to bed. Found mites can not be thrown away, because instinct will make them crawl back to you. It is also not recommended to crush ticks. If the tick is infected, then, crushing it, there is a risk of infection through microtrauma on the skin. Also, the virus can enter the body through the openings of the sweat glands, especially if it is hot. It is best to burn ticks.

In the case of a bite, the tick should be removed as quickly as possible because the longer the tick is on the body, the deeper it bites under the skin. Tie a knot on the thread, but do not tighten it, but leave a small loop. Throw a loop on the tick and only now tighten the knot fully. It is better to take a dense kapron thread, which will not tear when tightened. Now, holding both ends of the thread in one hand, as if to turn the tick in a circle. This is the best way to extract a tick without tearing his head off. If the head remains in the wound, then the bite site may become inflamed. After removing the tick, the wound must be greased with iodine, brilliant green or any alcohol-containing solution, and then wash your hands thoroughly.

You can save the tick for analysis for infection. For this, the tick is placed in a small sealed container and a few drops of water are added there, so that the medium is moist, otherwise the viruses will die. If it was not possible to save the tick, do not worry, a blood test will at least objectively reflect information about the presence of infection in the body.

Next, close monitoring of the health status of the bitten is needed. If within a few days a red spot appears at the site of the bite, and the temperature rises to 37-38 degrees. C, it is necessary to drink a course of doxycycline hydrochloride 1 capsule 2 times a day for 5 days.

If there has been a rise in temperature to 39-400 C, and a high temperature is accompanied by headache, aching joints and muscles, it is urgent to ensure the departure of a person to provide qualified medical care. Encephalitis infected service centers are located in the cities of Irkutsk, Ulan-Ude, Severobaikalsk. The injured person can move by himself, but he needs an accompanying person. Infected with encephalitis and lime borreliosis is not dangerous to others. By the way, not all ticks are sources of infection, there are also "healthy" individuals. As a rule, in areas remote from civilization, ticks are not carriers. This is due to the fact that the infection is transmitted by ticks from mice and rats, and these species of vertebrates prefer to settle near human housing.

So, once again think over the sequence of actions before going to the places of tick activity:
- take care of the vaccine!
- self and mutual inspection!
- in case of a bite, health monitoring is necessary;
- in case of Lyme disease - on-site treatment, in case of encephalitis - hospitalization.

If you have never pulled a deeply gnawing tick yourself, then it is better not to do this. Ask someone to help you, in this case there is a better chance of doing everything right.

Even if you did not find any unpleasant symptoms after a tick bite, it still makes sense to donate blood for analysis in a month, it is quite possible that the number of viruses and borrelia that penetrated your body was small and the disease went away in a latent form. However, in order to avoid annual exacerbations, it is still recommended to be examined and undergo treatment.

Good luck and health!

Vaccination point addresses

Moscow. Clinic number 13. Neglinnaya, 14. Tel. 928-65-04 (reference), 921-94-65 (vaccination room). Open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Irkutsk, K. Marx, 3. Tel. 33-68-63, 33-39-51, 33-39-71. Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology VSNS SB RAMS, center for diagnosis and emergency prevention of tick-borne encephalitis. Opening hours: from 9.00 to 17.00, lunch from 12.00 to 13.00, weekends - Saturday and Sunday.

Ulan-Ude. Clinic number 1 of the First territorial medical association, st. Kalandarishvili, 23. Tel. (301-2) 21-02-37. Infectious cabinet.

Contraindications to vaccination are: acute infectious and non-infectious diseases, exacerbations of chronic diseases, allergic reactions to chicken eggs (whey is based on protein), progressive diseases of the nervous system, malignant neoplasms, blood diseases, pregnancy (vaccinations are permissible 2 weeks after delivery).