Doctors: Carefully remove ticks with tweezers

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Remove ticks

Doctors warn: Carefully remove ticks with tweezers

Ticks are one of the most dangerous animals in Germany due to the risk of transmission of Lyme disease and early summer meningoencephalitis (TBE). In order to minimize the risk of infection after a tick bite, the adhering animals should be removed as soon as possible with narrow tweezers or so-called tick pliers, warned the professional association of pediatricians (BVKJ).

Due to the increased risk of tick bites, the whole body should urgently be searched for adhering ticks after a stay outdoors, warn health authorities and medical professionals since the weather has become a little warmer. In particular, the soft skin folds of the hollow of the knees, armpits and groin, in which the small bloodsuckers prefer to bite, must be checked particularly carefully. If a tick bite is present, adhering animals should best be removed immediately using narrow tweezers. Because in the first hours after the tick bite, the risk of transmission of possible diseases is still relatively low.

Carefully remove ticks with narrow tweezers The professional association of pediatricians recommends parents who discover a tick in their child to remove them as soon as possible with small tweezers. According to Ulrich Fegeler from BVKJ in Cologne, the parents should carefully stretch the skin in the area of ​​the tick, then it is best to hold the tick in the head area with special plastic tweezers (as close as possible to the skin) and then carefully, without twisting, carefully pull out. Fegeler explained that the puncture site must be thoroughly disinfected after the tick has been removed. If it is not possible to completely remove the tick and there are remnants stuck in the wound, a doctor should be consulted due to the risk of inflammation, the specialist explained. When removing the animals, according to Fegeler, care must also be taken to ensure that the tick's body is not squeezed or squeezed, otherwise the ticks release their stomach contents together with the pathogens they contain into the wound, thus significantly increasing the risk of infection. The same applies to treatment with alcohol, fire, glue or oil, the expert warned.

Tick ​​transmission Lyme disease and TBE Ticks can transmit both Lyme disease and early summer meningoencephalitis, whereby the TBE virus can be released into the wound immediately after the sting, while the bacteria that cause Lyme disease are only transmitted after 12 to 24 hours, the said Professional association of pediatricians. In general, after a tick bite, the injection site should be closely monitored in the following days, as a possible inflammation or Lyme disease can often already be recognized on the wound. A red, spreading stain around the bite wound is a typical sign of Lyme disease and a doctor should be consulted urgently, the BVKJ experts explained. The same applies if flu-like symptoms occur in the days after the tick bite, because both a Lyme disease infection and early summer meningoencephalitis are characterized by corresponding symptoms in the early stages.

Health risks from the transmission of TBE and Lyme disease The health risk of tick-borne diseases should not be underestimated, as Lyme disease and TBE risk of long-term consequences, the experts warned. So Dr. explained Reinhard Kaiser, chief neurologist at the Pforzheim City Clinic at a press conference at the University of Hohenheim at the end of March, that with FSME, the initially rather harmless flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache and body ache often have serious health problems, such as paralysis, breathing problems, loss of consciousness or speech - and balance disorders follow. Dr. According to Kaiser, "half of the patients (...) still suffer from paralysis, poor breathing, balance problems or swallowing and speech disorders ten years after the infection". The specialist also cited a study in which 30 percent of the study participants died within ten years of the consequences of early summer meningoencephalitis. In order to roughly estimate the risk of TBE infection after a tick bite, those affected usually already have a look at the so-called tick cards, in which all risk areas are recorded in relatively detail. Because the risk of a TBE transmission is by no means the same everywhere and in some regions this can almost be excluded. If you want to avoid the risk of a TBE infection from the outset, you can also protect yourself with an appropriate vaccination, but possible side effects cannot be excluded.

Chronic Lyme disease as a significant health burden. Unlike TBE, Lyme disease can be treated relatively effectively with antibiotics, but only in the early stages of the disease. If the Lyme disease takes a chronic course, treatment success can hardly be achieved with antibiotics. Since the disease is often recognized too late and the pathogens have usually already started to spread in the body when the diagnosis is made, the chronic forms of Lyme disease are relatively widespread. For those affected, chronic Lyme disease, along with the typical Lyme disease symptoms, often brings with it considerable feelings of fatigue and exhaustion, joint and limb pain, as well as occasional visual disturbances and heart problems. The Lyme disease pathogens in the chronic stage of the disease can affect not only other organs, joints and muscles, but also the central and peripheral nervous system. (fp)

Read on:
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Health: The time of ticks has started
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TBE and Lyme disease from tick bites
Prevention: Don't panic about ticks
Health: No tick vaccination

Photo credit: Tamara Hoffmann /

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Video: How To Remove A Tick


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