Beaware of ticks this spring, summer
April 19, 2013
Vilseck, Germany -- Spring is here and outdoor adventures await for many people in Bavaria, but walking through the woods or biking on trails could put you at risk for a serious medical issues.
Ticks are prevalent throughout Bavaria.
"Ticks are bad," said Lt. Col. Matthew Rice, Deputy Commander for Clinical Services for Bavaria Medical Department Activity."They carry disease."
Ticks can carry both Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis, Rice said. Bacteria cause Lyme disease, while tick-borne encephalitis is caused by a virus, both of which live in ticks and can be transmitted when the tick bites a host.
The earliest symptom of Lyme disease is a rash that looks like a bull's-eye at the site of the tick bite. Other flu-like symptoms could develop including muscle soreness, headache and fever.
Early treatment with antibiotics can usually cure the disease, but left untreated it can cause persistent chronic problems and disabilities.
Tick-borne encephalitis can affect the central nervous system and causes symptoms similar to Lyme disease. In the event the virus does affect the central nervous system, paralysis can occur and hospitalization might be required.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends removing a tick with fine-tipped tweezers, according to www.cdc.gov/ticks. Steady upward pressure without twisting or jerking the tick is recommended. The bite area and hands should be thoroughly cleaned with rubbing alcohol, iodine scrub or soap and water.