The most common ticks and myths about them

Ticks come to life at temperatures above 5°C and become active a week after the last frost. They are most active from April to November, most often in the morning, morning and evening, when the humidity is higher.

Not all ticks are interesting. For example, dark-colored males do not suck blood in humans, but only attach to hosts to tend to females.

What myths about ticks circulate the most among people?

  • There is no danger in the garden near the house

Unfortunately, that is certainly not the case. As the results of the hygiene stations show, ticks are also common in urban areas, and therefore in gardens, especially in places where there is taller grass or accumulated leaves.

With proper garden maintenance, it is possible to minimize the appearance of ticks on the property itself – it is recommended to mow the grass regularly and to separate the overgrown shaded parts of the garden from the lawn using stones.

  • I have good immunity so I can handle tick-borne diseases well

One of the big mistakes. Tick-borne encephalitis can affect anyone, regardless of age, and often has lifelong consequences. People over the age of 55 tend to have a more severe course and the risk of permanent sequelae is higher than in younger patients.

It may not be better for Lyme disease, especially if it is not treated in time with antibiotics and enters the chronic phase of the disease.

  • I try to avoid the trees, the forest. This minimizes the risk of ticks

Ticks mainly attack humans from grass and shrubs, so the risk of infection in low vegetation is high.

Ticks do not jump from trees or fly – leaves and branches, they climb on their human host. In humans, they like to move to the area behind the ears, armpits or hamstrings where the skin is thin.

  • Repellents and vitamin B are enough to protect against ticks

It certainly makes sense to use repellents, but it is necessary to apply them to all parts of the body, since the tick searches for crevices to reach the human body. In addition, the active substance expires over time, and the application must be repeated at regular intervals, which not everyone does.

Although many people claim that the B-complex, which affects the moisture in the skin, also acts as an effective protection, then the person sweats less and becomes less attractive to ticks, it cannot be completely trusted. There are no qualified studies to demonstrate such effects of vitamin B.

  • The risk of tick-borne encephalitis is very low

The number of people infected with tick-borne encephalitis has increased in our country in recent years. In 2020, 853 cases were recorded, which is the most in the past 9 years. Since 2015, this number has increased by 140%.

In addition, the occurrence of tick-borne encephalitis is practically widespread in our territory. Infected ticks are present in all regions of the Czech Republic, including mountainous areas and city parks.

  • Vaccination is not necessary, there is an effective treatment

When treating tick-borne encephalitis, doctors may only use supportive care depending on the type and severity of symptoms. There is no specific antiviral treatment.

The disease can have a serious course and consequences. In about 30-60% of cases, the consequences can be long-term or even permanent. Even after recovery, the patient may suffer from headaches or even partial paralysis.

In the most severe form, nerve palsy can develop at different stages of the disease and can lead to the failure of vital centers and death.

Vaccination really makes sense. Unfortunately, as recent surveys show, Czechs are aware of the risks of tick-borne encephalitis, but only 33% are vaccinated. The least vaccinated are 55-64 years old, while only 25% of the population is actively protected against tick-borne encephalitis. At the same time, the consequences of the disease tend to be the worst in elderly patients, including death.

  • The tick is best removed if you add it with oil or cream

Years ago, ticks were indeed removed in this way, but it has long been known that if you choke on ticks, on the contrary, you increase the risk that they “expel” germs from the digestive tract.

Therefore, it is much safer to remove the ticks with tweezers in a rocking motion (so the traditional clockwise or counterclockwise direction does not apply) and then disinfect the area.

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