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Ticks: The Illness Carrying Pests

Ticks: The Illness Carrying Pests

One of the most common pests in the Czech Republic are ticks, tiny brown insects that feed on the blood of mammals. These bugs are especially common in the summer months, as the weather is warmer and people and animals are more likely to be outside. These ticks are known to carry diseases like Lyme Disease and Encephalitis and can infect the people they bite. The Czech Republic has an increased level of tick-borne illnesses and it is estimated that 2-5% of ticks in Central Europe are carriers for these diseases.

Lyme disease occurs when a tick injects the bacteria Borrelia Burgdorferi into the bloodstream. The first noticeable symptom of Lyme Disease is a red ring around the bite with a white center. It is best to see a doctor at the first sign of Lyme disease because if left untreated, the bacteria could spread to the joints, heart, and nervous system and cause immunopathic reactions throughout the body. Lyme disease is easily treated with antibiotics if diagnosed in the early stages, making early detection and treatment imperative.

Encephalitis is another illness spread by ticks. If infected, a person can expect a wide variety of symptoms ranging from flu-like symptoms to nothing at all. Because the symptoms are so irregular, it is often hard for people to tell they have been infected, which is why it is so important to check the body for ticks regularly after spending time outdoors. Encephalitis can also be protected against with vaccines (which Unicare can provide! Call or email us to make an appointment to get protected against Encephalitis). 

The best way to avoid these illnesses is to not get bitten by ticks. To prevent tick bites, wear long pants/long sleeves when spending time in the woods and check the body for ticks after spending time outside in the grass. If found on the body, ticks can be removed with tweezers by simply grabbing the head of the tick as close to the skin as possible and twisting until it comes out. It is important to disinfect the skin and the tweezers before and after removing the tick to prevent infection.

While ticks aren’t the most easily avoidable, they are easy to spot on the body and remove. It is also easy to treat tick-borne illnesses if detected early enough through medication and proper medical care. Protect yourself against tick-borne illnesses by getting vaccinated and wearing weather appropriate clothing. Now, go enjoy the outdoors and make sure you check for ticks when you get home!