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    Tick Season

    Jelen cikk 2022.02.21. előtt készült.

    Utolsó módosítás dátuma: 2022-04-29

    Ez a cikk több mint 2 éve frissült utoljára. Kérjük, olvasáskor vegye ezt figyelembe!

    Facts about ticks

    Now that the good weather is here and we spend more time outdoors, we are more likely to find ticks.  Contrary to common belief, these small blood suckers will attack us not only while we are hiking in the forests and meadows but also in our gardens and in the grass in city playgrounds.  Furthermore, they are not only a nuisance but can also spread a serious illness.  How can we protect ourselves?  Nóra Nagy-László, MD can help you in this regard.

    Ticks are bloodsucking parasites of which several hundred species are known.  Some only attack animals in the wild but most happily suck the blood of humans and house pets.  They hide in grasses, bushes and on tree leaves - always on the shaded side – and when the potential food source appears, climb on it from below or fall on it from above.  If they succeed in holding on, they strive to reach a dark area, such as under clothing, in body creases or areas covered with hair and, in the case of animals, in areas covered with thick fur or under the collar.  They then bore themselves into the skin and begin sucking the blood.  Since their saliva contains an anesthetizing agent, we do not notice the sting and only become aware of them after they sucked themselves full and their size increased up to more than ten times their original size of a few millimeters.

    Ticks may be encountered just about anywhere in the out of doors.  They are found primarily in areas of rich vegetation, in leafy forests or in larger areas covered with bushes, but, they have also been found in parks, gardens and tick bites have been known to occur in city playgrounds.  It is just about impossible to avoid them.  It would be a shame, though, to not enjoy nature, the forests, parks and a garden’s beauty just because we are afraid of them.

    The danger is avoidable

    The source of danger ticks is not from their bite.  It is, actually, the various viruses and bacteria that they are infected which get transferred into our systems through their saliva.  Caution is justified, however, since many serious diseases are spread by ticks.  The most serious among these is tick encephalitis (a viral cerebral inflammation with serious consequences) and Lyme disease caused by the Borrelia Burgdorferi bacteria resulting in lengthy neurological, muscular and joint damage.

    The danger can be avoided with prudence and protective measures.  Tick encephalitis, one of the tick caused diseases, can be avoided with a vaccine.  Though no vaccine is available for Lyme disease, we can protect ourselves against the disease by being cautious and by using preventive measures.  While outdoors, keep long hair back, pant legs tucked into socks and boots, wear a hat and use a tick repellent spray.  If you get bitten, after all, the tick should be removed as soon as possible. 

    It was generally thought for a long time that the B vitamins, such as the strongly scented Polybé tablets, would keep ticks away.  This, however, was never proven. 

    Once you are back indoors, it is very important that you check your body thoroughly for any ticks.  Frequent checks will increase your chances of finding a tick before it bored itself into the skin and, if you succeed in removing the tiny bloodsucker, you will prevent any disease it would have spread.

    Remove ticks as soon as possible!

    Removing a tick is usually not difficult or complicated.  There are, however, many mistaken ideas about the procedure.  Contrary to these beliefs, nothing should be put on the tick and it should not be twisted, especially not since, by so doing, we may ourselves press the infected gut contents into the wound.  Simply grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and gently pull the tick in a steady upward motion until it comes out.  If the head breaks off and remains in the skin, it will fall off by itself in a few days.

    Do not try to pick at the tick or try to remove it bit by bit because this may result in a bad infection or skin inflammation.  There are special tweezers available expressly made for tick removal, however, regular pointed tweezers may be used as well. (If no tweezer is available, holding the tick between the forefinger and thumb nails will do the job.  Many are convinced that this is the easiest method.)   

    Vaccination

    The vaccine against ticks does not prevent tick bites, nor does it protect against all tick caused diseases.  It only provides protection against tick encephalitis which is more than enough reason for us to offer this vaccination.  The vaccine may be administered at any time, but the best time is the end of Winter or early Spring, so that by the start of the tick season, full protection is ensured.  The prescription required for the vaccine may be obtained from your family practice doctor.    

    Complete protection is only obtained if the vaccinations are given appropriately.  Two basic vaccinations should be given within 30 days from each other.  These should be followed by another in one year, then in three years after which it is enough to repeat the vaccinations every five years.  In emergency cases, a faster method may be requested, in which case, two vaccinations are administered within 7 days and the third given 14 days after the last of the two.

    Children may also be vaccinated from age one up to age 12 with a vaccine that was produced especially for them.  There usually are no after effects to the vaccination, but should there be, they would be very mild and even then, only following the first one.  A rise in temperature and headaches occur at times, but no symptoms appear following the initial vaccination making the vaccination worthwhile to be given.  Let us also not forget that, since the vaccine offers protection for one disease only, prevention is still very important as well as the quick removal of a tick, if needed.

    Other signs to watch for

    Redness often appears around a tick bite which may be a mild inflammation due to an allergic reaction to the tick’s saliva that disappears in a few days without any particular treatment.  It could also be erysipelas, in which case it would be accompanied by fever.  If, during the following weeks, the redness “wanders” or becomes paler and then reappears with a bigger red ring, that is one of the symptoms of Lyme disease, an antibiotic treatment is necessary and a doctor should be consulted. It would be wise to watch the bite area for a longer period of time.

    Ticks can also be dangerous to domestic animals.  Not only to those found in forested areas or on outings with their owners, but also to the cats and dogs that wander into the family gardens. They all need to be protected against them.  Several methods of protection are available such as neck collars, ultrasound alarms and drops for the neck.  A veterinarian might be a good source of information when choosing.  Keep the expiration date of the ultrasound in mind and renew its effectiveness before that date.

    Feel free to contact our specialists!

    At the Buda Health Center, you have the opportunity to attend the private practices of more than 300 renowned specialists, offering expertise in nearly 45 medical specialisms, at three locations. Personalized care is provided by a well-trained and empathetic staff of professionals, who have been working together for a long time. Based on our 23 years of experience and the feedback received from our 450,000 clients, we are constantly working to organize our healthcare services in the most efficient way possible for those who visit us, paying respect to their needs and time.

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