Don’t play with ticks!

An innocent walk in the woods, a picnic in the park or a vacation in tents – due to ticks can have very unpleasant consequences for us or our loved ones.

Lyme disease is „overrated”

Ticks spread many dangerous diseases b, z kt he most important are two: tick-borne encephalitis m zgu (KZM) and Lyme disease. It is worth knowing what they ticks and who hich one is more dangerous.

– Gl Inna he difference between Lyme disease and CFS, is that Lyme disease has a great press. A great deal is written about it, true and untrue things, we are all afraid of it, and it is often demonized, which leaves behind CSE, which re from a medical point of view can be much more dangerous – emphasizes prof. Joanna Zajkowska of the Clinic for Disease b Infectious Diseases and Neuroinfections of the University Clinical Hospital in Bialystok.

Why tick-borne meningitis zgu poses a greater threat to our health? According to the expert , firstly because in his case we do not have an effective causal treatment for the. Secondly, because it affects the central nervous system.

– Lyme disease is more common and easier to detect, but is a milder disease susceptible to effective antibiotic treatment. Meanwhile, tick-borne m zgu, kt re caused by the neurotropic virus, we treat only symptomatically. As for the severity of the effects of and consequently for our health the latter disease is much more dangerous – m i prof. Joanna Zajkowska.

The specialist warns that when the STD virus enters the central nervous system it can cause inflammation of the m zgu, tires m sion, spinal cord or nerve roots.

– If the immune system is weaker, such as. wasps b the elderly, the effects of infection can be more serious. They can be, for example.: plexus palsy in the shoulder, leading to atrophy in muscle plexus and disabilities, hearing loss, disorders in balance, parkinsonism or respiratory muscle damage. Treatment consists only of rehabilitation and support for the patient to live with the disease – m i prof. Joanna Zajkowska.

R In children, too, the effects of PMS can be very severe. As a result of the disease, it is not uncommon to experience seizures and loss of consciousness.

– In the case of some rych small patient In spite of the fact that the inflammation went away, without hearing loss, vision loss or paralysis, there were times when parents reported to us p ź later that after the disease their children became as if they were someone else. For example, someone who was previously polite and had no problem in learning became aggressive, acquired emotional disorders, problems with concentration or memory. This is because m zg is a very delicate organ and susceptible to damage. Unfortunately, its damage is permanent, and rehabilitation can only help c reduce the effects of – m i dr hab. Ernest Kuchar of the Department of Pediatrics with Observation Ward at the Warsaw Medical University.

How to protect yourself against TBE?

Fortunately, with the help of immunization, it is possible to effectively protect oneself from contracting the disease of MCS.

– The vaccine is very effective, at 99 percent., because the KZM virus is really uncomplicated. Its effectiveness is evidenced by the fact that Polish foresters practically stopped getting sick from Lyme disease, after mandatory immunization was introduced in this professional group. The military, agricultural schools also vaccinate against TBE, and many employers. It really pays off – emphasizes prof. Joanna Zajkowska.

Nevertheless, according to estimates in an expert , vaccination against TBE is not very popular in Poland. Vaccination rate does not even exceed 0.5 percent.

From the survey of this vaccine, conducted in the Polish population, it is known what are the main ne reasons.

– On the question of why we do not vaccinate, most os b responded that they had no knowledge of this topic. In second place was: thought the risk is not high. Only in third place did respondents indicate that the cost of the vaccine was a barrier for them (kt The disease has to be financed out of pocket – note. red.) – explains prof. Joanna Zajkowska.

In Poland, 150-300 cases are recorded every year in the incidence of tick-borne meningitis zgu. Why so few?

– In most cases , nothing happens after a tick bite and a person is infected with the STI virus. And this is because our immune system generally handles viruses quite well. When the virus is not dealt with, the first symptoms of infection can occur, most often flu-like, including b le of the head, breaking in the bones and fever. And on this disease also can end if the immune system at this stage can cope with the infection – m i prof. Joanna Zajkowska.

Thus, prophylactic vaccinations against the CCHD should be performed, in addition to those professionally exposed to ticks, primarily by people with weakened immunity. Who is particular lnie exposed to the disease and its severe course?

– The elderly, people struggling with autoimmune diseases, oncological diseases, and after transplants – suggests prof. Joanna Zajkowska.

Lyme disease can be recognized by erythema

Lyme disease in many respects It is not the same as the CFS. First, it is not caused by viruses, but by bacteria, specifically Borrelia spirochetes. Second, as mentioned earlier, it can be cured – using an antibiotic. Third, the disease produces different symptoms.

The characteristic symptom of Lyme disease, which ry occurs in about 50 percent of. infected, is characteristic, red, non-painful, ring-shaped, wandering around the sk THAT erythema, kt ry disappears over time. It is worth mentioning that it may not appear until a few days or weeks after a tick bite. In the initial phase, however, the infection may be asymptomatic.

– Contrary to popular belief, Lyme disease rarely b le joint – m i prof. Joanna Zajkowska.

How ticks attack?

To minimize the risk of being bitten by a tick, it is worth knowing their habits. On the feeding mode of these arachnids in has unfortunately accrued a lot of myths .

– We are constantly confronted with the myth that ticks fall on us from trees, and as a result, wearing a wide-brimmed hat for a walk is an effective way to protect against them. This is not true, ticks wait for hosts to head ticks can be found in tall grasses and bushes, but such a hat can come in handy when picking mushrooms when entering bushes. It is worth mentioning that ticks are blind, so they do not react to any colors, but if we dress in white, we can more easily see and remove them – m i Dr. Marta Hajdul-Marwicz of the Department of Biology of the Ogre The tick infestation is also common in large cities, especially those with a large number of ticks.

The specialist also debunks myths that only a few species of ticks live in Poland in ticks.

– In Poland, there are 19 species in the native tick. However, most often we have to deal with the common tick. In addition, there are still species imported from other countries – m i Dr. Marta Hajdul-Marwicz.

According to her, until a dozen or so years ago, ticks were associated with ticks by Poles, but they are still a major problem nie mazurskie forests. Now most of us already know that in fact ticks can be found all over Poland.

– Any fairly moist habitat, especially one with shrubs and deciduous trees, but most importantly with access to hosts, kt ticks are animals, mainly deer and rodents, this is the place in which the rima you can meet ticks. They can be found Also in large cities, especially those by which re flow through rivers – warns Dr. Marta Hajdul-Marwicz.

In Warsaw, for example, a lot of ticks live in the Łazienki Kr lewski, in other city parks, as well as in the capital’s zoo. The expert explains that animals move along the Vistula Valley, and with them ticks. Slightly safer in parks away from water and with regularly mowed grass.

– There is no need to delude ourselves that we are safe. We should make a habit of. When we return from a walk: we immediately undress, preferably in the bathtub, whisk our clothes, examine the body carefully, and wash the clothes. In children we look at the whole body, and in adults we pay most attention to the hair-tick border ra, places behind the ears, on the neck, armpits, groin, elbow pits, knee pits and intimate areas, that is, anywhere sk ra is more delicate, well-blooded, where it is warm, pleasant and where the tick can stick in – advises Dr. Marta Hajdul-Marwicz.

Finally, it is not only adult ticks that attack humans.

– We have three developmental stages: tiny larvae having p ł millimeter in length, kt re quite good at biting into the human body, e.g. in the navel or eyelid area. There are also nymphs, kt re are the most determined to feed developmental stage of these arachnids. They are able to move even under the strap of a well-fastened bra (they flatten themselves). We are bitten, of course, also adults, but only females. Fortunately, you can see them quite well – m i Dr. Marta Hajdul-Marwicz.

How to get rid of a tick?

Quickly and skillfully. Of course, we do not grease ticks with any greasy substances, nor do we burn them.

– When pulling out ticks, do not irritate them with anything. It is necessary to pull them out of the sk ry, e.g. so called. With forceps or tweezers – m i Dr. Marta Hajdul-Marwicz.

Removal of ticks should not be delayed a moment. Why?

– While the KZM viruses are found in the salivary glands of ticks and are us „sold” along with the first portion of saliva, which ra numbs us when we are bitten, but the bacteria that cause Lyme disease (Borrelia spirochetes), reside in the gut of ticks. So they need a lot of time (up to 48 hours – to penetrate first into the salivary glands of the tick and then into our bodies. So we have a chance to get ahead of them, by quickly removing the tick – m i Dr. Marta Hajdul-Marwicz.

Some consolation may be also the fact that not all ticks carry the aforementioned viruses and bacteria.