The suitable habitat for ticks has increased significantly in recent years. The number of tick bites increased accordingly. Global warming is having an effect. Expressed in numbers, tick habitat increased by more than 4,000 square meters between 2009 and 2018. This corresponds to roughly twice the area of canton St. Gallen, Suva wrote in a statement.
Vaccination protects against tuberculosis
It happened quickly. When you walk, you touch tall grass or something similar, and the tick immediately relaxes you. If you do not notice it, it can have serious health consequences, explains Lydia Isler-Christ, president of the Basel Pharmacists’ Union: “On the one hand, this is what is known as Lyme disease. Of course, it is also unpleasant, but at least it can be treated with antibiotics.” And much more dangerous is the so-called TBE – tick-borne encephalitis, an infection of the meninges. “These cannot be cured. You can only protect yourself prophylactically with a vaccination,” explains Isler-Christ.
The northern side of the Alps in Switzerland is considered a tick hotspot. And the situation is getting worse. According to a study from western Switzerland, there were about 14,000 tick bites each year between 2017 and 2021. That’s 40 percent more than from 2012 to 2016. It’s hard to make predictions for the current year. The coming weeks could give the first indications of whether 2022 will be the year of retail. According to statistics, the month of April has a decisive influence on the number of tick bites. If it is warm and sunny, then there are more ticks.
The number of tuberculosis cases is also increasing despite vaccination. Meanwhile, the Federal Office of Public Health has also issued a recommendation to vaccinate against tuberculosis for all cantons except Ticino and Geneva. Vaccination of children is also allowed.
How do I act as a non-vaccinated person in the event of a tick bite?
- Remove the tick as soon as possible.
- Remember the spot. For example by drawing or taking a picture.
- Monitor development for two weeks.
- Depending on the symptoms, you have to do something.
However, the symptoms of the disease are not very specific and can range from headache to fever, as is the case with influenza. Therefore, infected people who still feel unwell two weeks after the bite should see a doctor.
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