Typical signs of Lyme disease or TBEIf a tick has bitten before you discover it, attention is required: Learn the typical symptoms of Lyme disease and early summer meningoencephalitis.
Usually, you don't feel the bite of a tick at first, because the bloodsuckers secrete a kind of anesthetic from their salivary glands right at the beginning. It is therefore important to always check your body for ticks. Especially if you discover a tick later, it's important to watch for symptoms of illness from a possible infection.
Approximately 30 to 35 percent of all ticks carry Lyme disease in them, which can lead to Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis. In addition, up to five percent of all ticks carry the Early Summer Meningoencephalitis (TBE). But: not everyone who gets bitten by an infected tick also gets sick.
differences in ticks with Lyme disease and FMSE
If a tick carries the Lyme disease-If the tick carries the virus, the bitten person has about six hours until the tick transmits the virus. This is located in the intestine and it takes several hours until it is transferred to the host.
In case of a bite of a tick with FMSE-However, transmission of the pathogen occurs directly, since the bacteria are in the saliva of the tick.
1. Typical signs of Lyme disease or Lyme borreliosis
Every third tick is infected with the Lyme disease pathogen, A type of bacteria, infected. The resulting infection is called Lyme disease, Lyme borreliosis or Lyme disease. "Lyme" is the name of a U.S. place where joint inflammation after tick bites was first described in the mid-1970s. Lyme disease bacteria reside in the tick's intestine. Migrates only after the tick has sucked for about six hours into the bite wound. Therefore, the following applies in the case of Lyme borreliosis: Quick removal protects particularly well in the case of infected ticks.
To note: If you squeeze the tick, the intestinal contents of the tick, including possible Borrelia, are forced into the bloodstream. Therefore, ticks should definitely be removed professionally. The treatment proceeds properly.
Lyme disease diagnosis is often difficult, because especially the initial symptoms often resemble those of influenza. And: The symptoms of a Lyme disease infection after a tick bite are not always the same.
For example, a small reddening of the skin at the site of the bite is often a sign of Lyme disease. But this so-called migratory redness (erythema migrans) does not always occur. Some of the symptoms of Lyme disease do not appear until months or years after the infection has occurred.
Migratory redness: If the Borrelia bacteria have made it into the wound of the victim, our immune system usually reacts with an inflammatory reaction. A redness can then be seen on the skin around the injection site. As the borrelia spreads in a circle in the skin, the inflammation also travels with it. Usually you see a red spot that gets bigger and bigger and fades in the middle – the so-called migratory redness (erythema migrans). This wandering redness occurs frequently, but the redness comes in different forms and is easy to overlook. This does not have to be bad, because often the Borrelia bacteria are detected and destroyed by the body's own defenses. Further treatment is then not necessary. Lyme disease then heals by itself and unnoticed.
The Borrelia bacteria can also cause non-specific symptoms, such as fever or fatigue. Quick detection of the Borrelia infection is important, as the infection can lead to late damage to the brain and nerves. However, if the disease is detected in time, treatment with antibiotics is possible.
Heart and nervous system: In the second stage, which occurs a few months after the tick bite, flu-like symptoms intensify. In addition, the Borrelia attack the nervous system. There is, for example, meningitis or paralysis symptoms. The heart can also be affected. In this case, cardiac arrhythmias may occur.
joints: Phase three is the most severe stage of the Lyme disease infection. Inflammations of single or multiple joints are typical, often the knee is affected. However, these symptoms appear only months or even years after the sting.
Important: The symptoms of a Lyme disease infection after a tick bite are not always the same. There is not always migratory redness (erythema migrans). Some of the symptoms of Lyme disease appear months or years later. However, the quick detection of the Borrelia infection is important.
Visit to the doctor and blood test: Here's what to look for!
If you are not sure whether you are infected, you should see a doctor after a tick bite. The should find out on the basis of the symptoms whether it can be a Lyme disease or not.
However, the correct diagnosis is not always easy. The often offered blood tests (IgG antibody tests) are often negative in the first four to six weeks, because the immune response builds up slowly and the antibodies can not always be detected at the beginning. It can therefore not be ruled out that a doctor overlooks an infection. Therefore, observe your body closely. Arrange for retesting at a later date if necessary.
Good to know: There are effective antibiotics against Lyme disease. If Lyme disease is detected, it can be treated well. Therefore, if one acts quickly, the consequences often remain limited.
There is a particularly high risk of ticks when walking through tall grass. Erik Karits via Unsplash
2. Typical signs of early summer meningoencephalitis (FSME)
In the case of early summer meningoencephalitis (FSME), the initial symptoms are often just as similar to those of influenza. In the case of a TBE infection, viruses are transmitted directly during the bite, as they are located in the saliva of the tick. But only about 30 percent of those infected with TBE notice any symptoms at all.
"The insidious thing about TBE is that there is a large proportion of severe courses, with inflammation of the spinal cord, the brain, and the brain. Here it can come to paralyses, to breath disturbances, to consciousness disturbance up to the death and to durable heavy handicaps. Once infected, there is no treatment, no causative therapy that can destroy the pathogen in the body."
Flu-like symptoms: The first signs of a TBE infection appear on average seven days to three weeks after the tick bite and last about a week. The affected person feels flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, nausea, abdominal pain. This first phase of TBE lasts about two to four days. In over 90 percent of cases, this is the end of the story. However, a second phase of the disease occurs in every tenth infected person. Although after an initial symptom-free period of one to three weeks. Only then does the infected person notice that the TBE virus has affected the central nervous system. The course of the disease then depends on which parts of the nervous system are infected. 50 percent of those infected get pure meningitis. This manifests itself with a severe headache, sensitivity to light, dizziness, nausea and stiff neck.
brain and spinal cord: In every second person with an infected central nervous system, the brain is also affected by TBE. Then come paralysis. Consciousness disturbances in addition. It becomes even worse if the spinal cord tie is attacked in addition to meningitis and encephalitis. This leads to symptoms similar to those of severe polio.
3. Important information about the tick vaccination
While there are effective antibiotics against Lyme disease, the medication for a severe TBE disease looks rather bleak. However, there is a TBE vaccination that is considered to be well tolerated and is paid for by the health insurance companies.
In the southwest the health authorities urgently recommend the vaccination. Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland have only a few risk areas, but Baden-Wurttemberg is a comprehensive risk area. Vaccination risks must be weighed against protection if you live in a high-risk area or plan to spend your vacation there.
Protection against tick-borne TBE TBE vaccination is recommended for risk areas
The only effective protection against TBE is a vaccination. It is considered to be well tolerated. Is paid for by health insurance companies. In southwestern Germany, it is strongly recommended. more.
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