Avoid being bitten. The expert told how to protect yourself from tick-borne infection

Avoid being bitten.  The expert told how to protect yourself from tick-borne infection


Are there harmless ticks? Or if a tick attaches itself to a person, and this happens in an area where cases of tick-borne encephalitis have been recorded, does that mean the person has definitely become infected?

aif.ru told about this Head of the group of scientific and information support of medical institutions of the Center for Molecular Diagnostics CMD FBUN Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of Rospotrebnadzor, leading expert Mikhail Lebedev.

Today, more than 50 thousand different types of ticks are known, including many parasites, although not all of them pose a threat to humans and domestic animals. Ixodid ticks are carriers of dangerous infections. But even among them, not all arthropods are dangerous, but only those infected with bacterial and viral infections. But, of course, you can’t tell by eye which arthropod is healthy and which is infected.

Don’t judge by your registration

In different territories, in different countries and regions, the prevalence of infections transmitted by ixodid ticks is not the same. And even in endemic regions, the density of infected arthropods varies. However, the location where the parasite lives is also not a guarantee that the tick will not be a carrier of any infection. By the way, ticks can be infected not only with the most dangerous viral tick-borne encephalitis, but also with other infections. For example, they transmit tick-borne borreliosis (Lyme disease), human granulocytic anaplasmosis, human monocytic ehrlichiosis, and tick-borne spotted fever.

Tick-borne infections are classified as natural focal diseases. That is, they are distributed in certain limited areas where there are pathogens and their carriers. The list of areas endemic for viral tick-borne encephalitis is published annually on the Rospotrebnadzor website. In total, the incidence of tick-borne encephalitis in Russia is registered in 48 regions. These include three districts of the Ivanovo region, a third of the regions in the Tver region, most of the Yaroslavl, Arkhangelsk, Kaliningrad regions, as well as Kaliningrad, all of the Vologda, Leningrad and Novgorod regions. In the Moscow region, two areas are considered endemic for tick-borne encephalitis: Taldomsky and Dmitrovsky, although currently the circulation of tick-borne encephalitis is not observed there. However, in 2019, in the Volokolamsk district of the Moscow region, a case of tick-borne encephalitis was reported from consuming raw goat milk. Therefore, it is important to take preventive measures and personal protection against tick bites in any place where you may encounter a carrier of a tick-borne infection.

Protect yourself from misfortune

You can only get vaccinated against viral tick-borne encephalitis. And only attentiveness and caution will protect you from other infections that ticks carry, so be vigilant when you are in areas where you may encounter a tick. If you go on a hike, a picnic or a walk in the forest, then do not lie in the grass, do not pitch a tent or lay down a mat for sitting in the middle of a forest edge covered with tall greenery. And do not bring flowers picked from the forest into your house (a tick can hide in the bouquet).

Closed clothing, a hat, and treating things with acaricidal agents (against ticks) will help reduce the risk of infection. Before anti-tick treatment, carefully read the instructions on the product packaging and apply as written there. As a rule, it is recommended to spray the product on clothing, not on the skin. Also ask what age the product is intended for.

And be sure, when you come from the forest or park, undress naked and carefully examine yourself, your companions and pets, since ticks can crawl to you and from the dog’s fur. The most common places where ticks like to attach themselves are where the skin is thinnest and the blood supply is better: in the armpits, groin, on the neck, closer to the head.


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