Tick ​​bite: what you risk and how to behave in case of a bite

Temperatures rise and, like every spring, the problem of the tick bite arises again, given that the ticks this year they have already come out of their hibernation thanks to the mild climate.

These arthropods, belonging to the class of arachnids, usually attach themselves to our pets to feed on their blood, being parasites obligate bloodsuckers. Outdoor walks, encouraged by sunny days, could unfortunately involve the risk that our four-legged friends will return home with the unwelcome guest.

This is a problem that should not be underestimated, because the mint does not even disdain the human blood.

Watch out for the tick bite

Generally the bite of the tick is not dangerous for our health. This does not mean that it is wrong to underestimate it, because in some cases it can be a vehicle for diseases. Known infections include encephalitis, Lyme disease and babesiosis, which is quite rare in Italy.

Being parasitic, ticks feed on the blood of their hosts, infecting themselves if they are sick. With the next bite, they will then go to convey pathogens to new prey. Usually the tick settles on the head, neck, legs and in the interdigital spaces, areas where it can remain well attached. Having found the stretch of skin, they penetrate it with their rostrum, to then suck the blood. The bite is painless thanks to an anesthetic substance injected at the same time, so sometimes it’s not easy to notice that you’ve just been stung.

After to the pointHowever, the area swells and reddens, even causing significant skin rashes.

Lyme disease, Tbe and babesiosis

Among the pathologies that can be contracted with a tick bite, we find Lyme disease, tick-borne meningoencephalitis e protective and others too. The former is caused by an infection with Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia garinii, Borrelia mayonii and Borrelia burgdoferi bacteria, and its main symptoms are fever, cold, headache. In the most serious cases, it can even lead to meningitis. Tbe, on the other hand, is an acute viral disease that affects the central nervous system and begins with the classic flu symptoms. The situation can then worsen, leading to encephalitis and flaccid paralysis, with even lethal results.

Babesiosis occurs by transmission of parasites, babesias, which affect red blood cells. Often the situation resolves itself without even showing symptoms, but in people with compromised immune systems it can be very risky.

Other related pathologies are Ehrlichiosis and buttonous fever.

What to do in case of a bite

In the event that a tick is found to be attached, i old advice, i.e. don’t try to crush it. In this case, in fact, we would risk inoculating ourselves with any pathogens present in the tick.

The parasite must be extracted as soon as possible, and with delicacyusing forceps and alcohol. If the rostrum remains embedded in the skin, it must be removed with a sterilized needle. At that point the area must be well disinfected, and then kept under observation for a few weeks. If in doubt, it is always a good idea to consult a doctor.

How to avoid ticks

In case of walks in open places, it is advisable to wear hats, long-sleeved shirts, long trousers and closed shoes. It’s also good not to stay too long in areas with very tall grass.

The classics are also useful repellents for insects, based on Deet and permethrin.