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1. Lyme Disease is caused by various species of ticks.
It is the most common tick-borne disease in Europe. Approximately 5-35% of the ticks are infected with Borrelia. In Germany, according to previous findings after a tick bite in 1.5-6% of patients are expected to be infected. The infection can occur from March to October assuming a risk of infection in all parts of Germany (in certain weather conditions it may also occur sooner or later).
The transfer takes place in Central Europe through the bite of the tick label. The disease risk increases significantly with the duration of the act of sucking. Depending on the disease type, the time varies greatly to onset of the disease after a tick bite: days to weeks for stage I, stage II for weeks to months and months to years to finally stage III.
The signs can be very different and include diseases of the skin, nervous system, joints and heart.
The typical manifestation is erythema migrans. Days to weeks after a tick bite occurs at the site of the tick bite from a nodule a sharply demarcated, painless, distending red spot, which often has a brightening in the center. This stage may be accompanied by constitutional symptoms such as fever, conjunctivitis, headache, muscle pain, joint pain and swollen lymph nodes.
Signs of stage II are the meninges and spinal cord inflammation. The nerve deficits affect about 60% of cases, cranial nerves, mainly as a uni-or bilateral facial paralysis. A rare skin disease is the lymphocytoma. This is a reddish swelling that occurs preferentially at earlobe (especially in children), nipple or scrotum. Sign of the III. Stage, the joint inflammation. They occur months to years after infection.
Lyme disease is primarily a clinical diagnosis, which is supported by the history and laboratory diagnosis. A positive laboratory test only speaks for Lyme-disease in conjunction with appropriate clinical findings for Lyme disease.
Treatment is most successful in the early stages. A preventive antibiotics after a tick bite is not recommended. Only positive results from studies of ticks indicate for antibiotic treatment.
The risk of getting ticks, is in the outdoors with contact to ground-level plants (tall grass, herbs, ferns, shrubs). Clothing that covers as much body surface (eg, long pants, long-sleeved shirts and sturdy shoes), reduces the risk of tick infestation. Mosquito repellent is effective to some extent against ticks, and up to about two hours, but can be ineffective after. After being in areas with possible occurrence of ticks the body should be screened carefully for ticks (especially on children). Especially on children, the ticks can sit at the hairline.
The tick must be removed immediately and the wound be thoroughly disinfected. When removing the tick all the unnecessary measures are to be omitted, and the tick's body can not be bruised, otherwise the Borrelia containing content can enter the organism. Due to the different strains, the development of an effective vaccine for Europe is difficult.
The TBE-causing virus is transmitted by tick bite.
Ticks live preferably in woods and not too dry layers in tall grass and bushes as well as in loose leaves.
After a tick bite, the virus in the bloodstream of people and can trigger the disease. In the TBE areas of Germany about 0.1-5% of the ticks are infected with the virus. While the TBE occurs in Germany only in certain regions, it is likely to get the disease in all parts of Germany.
TBE virus-transmitting ticks are present in many European countries, Russia and Asia. Major areas of distribution in Germany are Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, also in southern Hessen. TBE areas in Europe are located in Austria, the Baltic countries, Poland, the Czech and the Slovak Republic, Hungary, South Sweden, Finland, Croatia, Slovenia and Albania. There is no TBE risk on the Iberian Peninsula, in the United Kingdom, the Benelux countries and Denmark (with the exception of Bornholm, where single cases have been reported).
The disease tends to occur in the spring and summer, but often also in the fall. In warm weather, infections can occasionally occur even in winter.
The time to the onset of the disease usually 7-14 days, in some cases up to 28 days. Not every bite of an infected tick leads to disease. Once the infection is present in approximately 30% of infected people symptoms occur.
It will initially cause flu-like symptoms with moderate fever, headache, vomiting, dizziness. After an afebrile interval of about a week (up to 20 days) results in about 10% of those infected a meningitis or encephalitis with fever, vomiting, neck stiffness. It often occurs even after heavy courses for complete healing. Severe disease is observed almost exclusively in adults. In approximately 1% of patients with brain involvement, the disease leads to death.
A therapy against the virus is not available.
Vaccination is an effective protection. For a complete vaccination three vaccinations are required - a primary series consisting of two parts, as well as a refresher. Booster doses are required at intervals between 3 and 5 years. Vaccination after the bite is not possible.
In ticks, the tick must be removed as promptly as possible with a tick tweezers. Pinching should be avoided, since then propagated viruses get into the host organism. For the same reason by no means oil or adhesive may be applied.
After removing the tick, thoroughly disinfect the wound. For pets a tick collar provides limited protection. Other tick protection products are available for pets.