TBE and Lyme Disease: Protect from ticks even when hiking
For many Germans, hiking is one of the most popular pastimes. However, there are also dangers lurking in this outdoor activity. Some of them sit in the grass, usually get onto human skin unnoticed and suck themselves tight. We are talking about ticks that can transmit dangerous diseases. Experts recommend protecting yourself from the bloodsuckers and removing them as quickly as possible.
Dangers lurk when hiking
Hiking is not only a great way to spend time in nature, it is also good for your health. It is easy on the joints and lowers the cardiovascular risk. But there are also dangers. Some of them lurk in grasses and bushes: ticks are an unavoidable evil for hikers. Unfortunately, there are a particularly large number of ticks this year. The small bloodsuckers can sometimes transmit dangerous diseases such as Lyme disease or early summer meningoencephalitis (TBE).
Check body for ticks after an excursion
No vaccination is currently available for Lyme disease. It is therefore particularly important to protect yourself against the ticks getting on the skin with sturdy shoes and long trousers on trips into the countryside. And "free skin areas can be rubbed with tick repellants," writes the Center for Travel Medicine (CRM) in a current message. However, there is no one hundred percent protection: sometimes the animals will find a way. Therefore, searching the body for a hike is of great importance. Particular attention should be paid to the areas of the body preferred by ticks such as the back of the knees, armpits, pubic area, navel, abdominal folds and the area behind the ears.
Quickly remove the bloodsucker with tweezers
If you discover one of the crawling animals, it is best to carefully remove them with tweezers. It is important to grab the tick by its head very close to the skin and not to squeeze the body, as otherwise secretions - possibly including the pathogen - can get into the sting point. Another method is to quickly remove ticks with tape. After pulling out, the area should be disinfected and then kept in view. If it blushes or you experience symptoms such as fever, headache or feeling tired, a visit to the doctor is essential.
Vaccination can be useful for some people
There is a vaccination against early summer meningoencephalitis. Health experts advise some people to get ticks against TBE. Vaccination can make sense, among other things, if you stay in TBE distribution areas frequently and for longer. These areas include parts of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Northeastern and Eastern Europe. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has a map for Germany with the affected areas. (ad)