Risk of Lyme disease in the tick season

PROTECTION AGAINST TICK BITES

Lyme disease

With the rising temperatures of spring, the risk of an infection with Lyme disease through tick bites unfortunately also increases. Since you can protect yourself with a vaccination against Tick-Borne Encephalitis (TBE), but not against Lyme disease, you should be especially careful during the tick season.

Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by bacteria. The transmission usually occurs through ticks infected with the bacterial species "Borrelia burgdorferi". These are found in large parts of Europe and in all German states. Lyme disease can affect various organs of the body, for example the skin, nervous system, and heart. If the nervous system is affected, it is called neuroborreliosis. The disease progresses in different stages, which can last from months to years. There are three stages of the disease. The symptoms vary from headache to Lyme arthritis. Lyme disease can usually be treated effectively with the timely use of antibiotics.

However, the best protection against Lyme disease is to avoid tick bites:

  • When walking, stay on firm paths if possible and avoid undergrowth, tall grass, and skin contact with plants near the ground.
  • Wear sturdy footwear for yourself and your child when walking in potential tick areas.
  • Make sure you wear light-colored clothing that covers the body as much as possible. This makes it easier to find the ticks.
  • After spending time in possible tick areas, carefully search the body for ticks, especially in the case of children: Preferred sucking sites are on the head and neck as well as under the arms, between the legs, and in the back of the knees.
  • It is best to remove the tick with special tick tweezers. Grasp the tick in the head area as close as possible to the skin and carefully pull the tick straight out with an even pull. Then disinfect the wound.
  • Look for the so-called wandering redness: a ring-shaped, red skin appearance around the bite, which is often lightened in the middle.
  • In case of suspicion, consult a doctor or a health care professional.
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