How to protect yourself from ticks?
You can find ticks not only in the woods, parks, or public gardens but also on any lawn. Most often they sit in the grass at a height of 20-60 cm and only occasionally tend to climb low shrubs.
Ixodic ticks can carry pathogens of dangerous human and animal diseases, including tick-borne encephalitis, borreliosis (Lyme disease), and Miyamoto disease. Pathogens enter our bodies when a tick is sticking to our skin.
What can be done to prevent this?
If you are going for a walk, first of all, make sure you have the right cloth: the long-sleeved clothes of a light color will be the safest, it is also desirable to wear pants and tuck them into socks.
For protection, use a repellent - a special remedy that scares away ticks. It can be in the form of aerosols, ointments, etc. Follow the instructions for use. Be sure to pay attention to its duration and do not forget to reapply.
On the walk, stay closer to the center of the trail and do not go into the grass on both sides: that's where the most ticks are.
When a tick hooks on to your clothes, it remains stationary until you stop moving, and sit or lie down. It is then that the attacker begins to look for a place to attach to the body - it slowly moves from the bottom up. This process can take from 30 minutes to 3 or 4 hours, or even several days. Inspect yourself and your close ones every two hours of walking. It is almost impossible to feel a tick bite: a tick releases an anesthetic that anesthetizes the bite. Careful examination is required, as the attacker may be the so-called nymph - a young, very small tick.
As soon as you return home, examine the children, animals, and yourself again: it is best to do it in a white bath with good lighting.
When you take off the clothes clean them thoroughly and wash them. Do the same with the things you used on a walk. Simple shaking will not help get rid of ticks.
Start the inspection from the bottom, from the feet, and gradually go up:
- socks line;
- popliteal area;
- lower line of briefs (groin), the upper line of briefs;
- the lower line of the bra, the upper line of the bra;
- shirt collar;
- the hairline, ears;
- hair and scalp - feel them with your hands.
Note! Your health depends on the thoroughness of the examination. A simple inspection should become a habit.
What to do when the tick is already in your skin?
See a doctor immediately. The emergency room will help you remove the tick and advise on further action.
If there is no doctor nearby, remove the tick yourself. To do this, you can use a special device for removing ticks, sold in veterinary pharmacies ("tick pick"). You need to press it to the skin, push it under the tick, gently shake the bloodsucker from side to side (because the proboscis is securely "cemented" in the wound by the saliva of the insect), and then slowly unscrew the attacker (you can twist in any direction convenient for you).
If you do not have a device, do it with your fingers wrapped in a gauze napkin or tweezers, or a loop of thread. Remove the tick slowly without jerks!
It is important to remove the tick along with the proboscis. If it comes off, remove it with a sterile needle.
After removing the tick you need to apply an antiseptic to the wound, and wash your hands with soap.
Not all ticks carry dangerous pathogens, but their bites can threaten a person with about 150 diseases.
The removed tick should be placed in a vial, test tube, or a clean container, put a small piece of grass there, and close the lid tightly. Under the direction of an infectious disease doctor, ticks are tested in the laboratory network for the presence of Borreliosis pathogens.
Also, monitor your condition for three weeks: measure your body temperature daily, and in case of the temperature increase or increasing redness on the skin, see a doctor immediately.
Information from the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.