What should I do if bitten by a tick
Camping is one of the best ways to relieve stress and rejuvenate. With the onset of the summer season, many city dwellers prefer to spend time in parks and forest park areas, and some are keen on hiking and hiking. If you are going to such an event, it is necessary to foresee all the most likely troubles, so as not to spoil the rest.
Those who are going to rest in the forest and forest-steppe zones should have a minimum knowledge of parasitic mites. What kinds of them are dangerous to health, what to do if a person has been bitten by a tick and where to go to assist? Let's find out.
What ticks are dangerous to humans
A person is attacked by several types of ticks. These small arachnids are close relatives of insects. The following features distinguish them from insects:
- ticks have eight legs, whereas insects have six;
- the head and torso of ticks merged together, and the insects do not.
Ixodic mites cause the greatest harm to humans. These parasites have a complex developmental cycle; adults feed on the blood of mammals. In Russia, disease carriers are most often two types of ticks - Ixodes ricinus in the European part of Russia and Ixodes persulcatus in Siberia.
Can a tick bite, but not suck? Yes, so do tick males, who need a small amount of blood.
The bite can pass unnoticed by humans, as the parasite injects an anesthetic with its saliva.
What does a tick look like?
Typically, ticks are detected upon inspection of the body. Favorite bite spots:
- elbow bend;
- skin behind the ears;
- groin area;
- places where blood vessels and more tender skin pass close.
The tick, which has not yet begun to feed, is 5–6 mm in size, it has four pairs of legs, the body is oval-elongated, and the back is covered with a chitinous shield.
In males, the shield covers the entire body, in females, only the front part. When feeding, the female's body increases in size many times and becomes clearly visible.
Where can I pick up a tick
Ticks live in the dense undergrowth of deciduous and coniferous forests, in the southern regions it can be a dense shrub, raspberry thickets. The attack is carried out from a branch of a bush or high grass, on which the tick sits, having widely spread front paws, with which it clings to a person or animal passing by.
Ticks do not climb trees, so they cannot fall from above. However, getting on clothes, mites are moving in search of a suitable place for food.
The peak of tick activity is the spring period (May and early June), when hungry females wake up. The attack time is predominantly morning. In hot weather and on rainy days, ticks are inactive.
How to recognize a parasite attack and what are the symptoms of a tick bite in a person? To notice a tick at the time of the bite is almost impossible. Therefore, after a walk you need to carefully examine the whole body. The place where the tick has stuck will be slightly reddened, a dark point is visible in the center - the tick's body. After a few days, the parasite's abdomen will begin to swell from the blood that has entered and become well visible.
What is dangerous tick bite for humans?
What is dangerous tick bite for a person? The tick itself is not poisonous. If you treat the bite site to prevent accidental infection (as for any wounds), the skin heals quickly. But in some areas the parasite can serve as a carrier of various diseases of humans and animals. Here is a list of diseases common in our country that a tick can transmit:
- tick-borne encephalitis;
- tick-borne borreliosis;
- typhus typhus;
- recurrent tick-borne typhus;
- hemorrhagic fevers - several types (Crimean, Omsk, fever with renal syndrome);
Most often found on the territory of Russia and represent a serious danger to human health - tick-borne encephalitis and borreliosis.
Disadvantaged areas where there are many foci of tick-borne encephalitis are Siberia, the Urals, the Far East. Periodically, the disease occurs in central Russia, the Volga region and the North-West region.
This is a viral disease that causes damage to the nervous system - inflammation of the lining of the brain (encephalitis). The virus circulates in a population of warm-blooded animals, from which with a tick bite is transmitted to humans. Poisoning occurs with parasite saliva, and the virus enters the human body almost immediately after sucking the tick.
Symptoms of encephalitis after a tick bite appear after 1-2 weeks. The disease begins abruptly, often the patient can indicate the time to within an hour.
Signs of tick-borne encephalitis:
- temperature increase up to 38–40 ° C;
- pain in the eyeballs, muscles, joints;
In the acute course of the disease, death may occur in 5–7 days. The probability of such an outcome for people of the European type is 1–2%, for the Far Eastern nations - 20–25%.
A preventive measure to prevent infection is an immunoglobulin with a tick bite. It is administered in the first three days after the bite intramuscularly at a dose of 1.5 to 3 ml, depending on age. After 10 days, the injection is repeated in the amount of 6 ml. Gammaglobulin with a tick bite does not give a 100% guarantee against the development of infection. Therefore, vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis is practiced in disadvantaged areas.
Tick-borne borreliosis is a dangerous disease that often occurs in a chronic form and leads to disability. The causative agent is the microbe of the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. Causes damage to the nervous system, joints, skin and heart. Another name for the infection is Lyme disease. It is distributed almost throughout the territory of Russia, where ticks live. Symptoms of Lyme disease after a tick bite depend on the stage of the disease.
In the early stage, the temperature rises, weakness and aching in the muscles and joints occur. A specific sign is that a migrating erythema is formed at the site of the bite - ring-shaped reddening of the skin, which expands over several days. In some cases, erythema may be absent. Reddening of the skin, itching and an increase in regional lymph nodes are possible.
- In the second stage, the infection spreads through the body and affects the nervous system, skin and heart. Signs appear a few weeks or months after infection: neuralgic pain in the lower back or in the face, arrhythmia, myocarditis, red skin rashes.
- In the chronic stage, damage to the joints, memory loss, and the appearance of nodules on the skin develop.
Borreliosis does not lead to death, but with late treatment, a person may become disabled.
The causative agent of infection is in the digestive tract of the tick, so if the parasite is removed no later than 5 hours after sticking, the infection can be avoided. For emergency prevention of borreliosis after a tick bite, antibiotics are taken for 72 hours. There is no vaccine against this disease, as well as specific treatments (immunoglobulins).
How to take "doxycycline" with a tick bite:
- adults - 200 mg (1 tablet);
- children over the age of 8 years - 4 mg per kg of body weight.
Small children and pregnant women cannot be prevented.
First aid for tick bites
First aid for a tick bite in a person - carefully remove the parasite from the skin.
This can be done in several ways.
- Fingers - if the tick sucked enough and got a big size.
- With tweezers.
- With the help of special tools.
- With the help of thread. Make a twisted loop, which throws on the head of the parasite.
Ticks should not be taken with bare hands. You need to wear gloves or a plastic bag. You can not press on the body of the parasite, sharply pull, otherwise the head may come off. It is necessary to capture the tick as close as possible to the head and with light twisting and swaying movements to “wrench” it from the skin. If the head is still torn off, disinfect the bite and remove it with a needle as a common splinter. A live tick is placed in a vial with a piece of wet tissue and sent to a laboratory for testing for infection.
How to treat a wound after a tick bite:
- alcohol solution of iodine.
What kind of doctor to contact with a tick bite
It is necessary to apply for medical assistance in the following situations:
- if you cannot remove the tick yourself;
- you are in an area unfavorable for infections that are transmitted through tick bites;
- after a tick bite, the temperature has risen, the site of the bite has inflamed or regional lymph nodes have increased.
In any case, you should call 03 for recommendations and clarification of the epidemiological situation in this region. Most likely, you will be sent to the district sanitary epidemiological station or the nearest emergency room. What kind of doctor to contact with a tick bite? - to the infectious diseases doctor.
Some useful recommendations
- If you have saved a live tick for analysis, it will be taken in the laboratory at the infectious diseases hospital or at the sanitary epidemiological station.
- If you are vaccinated against tick-borne encephalitis, this gives guaranteed protection against infection by the virus.
- 10 days after the bite, blood can be examined by the method of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for tick-borne encephalitis and borreliosis.
- After 14 days, blood is tested for antibodies to tick-borne encephalitis.
- Borreliosis antibodies can only be detected in the blood one month after infection.
A tick bite is not dangerous in itself, although it is unpleasant. Nevertheless, the tick can serve as a carrier of various infections, the most common of which are tick-borne encephalitis and Lyme disease (borreliosis). After detecting a parasite on the body, it is necessary to carefully remove it, taking care not to crush or tear the head. The bite site is sanitized. In order to clarify the situation with infections in the area, contact service 03. You may need to carry out emergency prophylaxis or preventive treatment.