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Ticks: protect yourself
May 4, 2011 14:55

There are no venomous spiders and almost no dangerous snakes in Russia, but there are ticks whose bites are imperceptable but may cause Lyme disease, tick-borne encephalitis, enteric hemorragic and recurrent fever. These tiny arachnids wake up when the snow melts and are especially active in May and June, when the people rush into forests for weekend picnics and more long expeditions. Ticks bring many problems to active rests fans in Russia, moreover: encephalitic ticks are endemics of Russian regions traditionally attracting tourists. However, there are some ways to prevent illnesses which lead to disability if treated not in time.

Regions Different kinds of ticks carry different diseases, many of them are not dangerous. But there are some regions, where ticks, carrying encephalitis and Lime disease are endemics. Among them are Moscow and some parts of Moscow region and many popular touristic routes, like Tver Region, Yaroslavl Region, Karelia Republic, St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region, Pskov Region, Vologda Region, Kostroma Region, regions associated with Baikal lake - Altai Republic, Buryatia Republic, Zabaikalsky Territory and all the Primorky Territory. The list is not full, while other regions are not so popular among the tourists.

You can reduce the risk of infection considerably wearing right clothes. Right clothes for the forest are garments with long sleeves tuck in the long trousers. Head-dress is also desired. Ticks won't have access to open body. What about the body parts, they like head, ears, hands, legs, elbows and knees most. Repellents don't provide 100% protection but they wouldn't be out of place.

If you plan expedition, for example, to Baikal Lake in advance, you'd better get encephalitis jabs. There are different schemes and vaccines, but anyway you get two-three injections in order to gain immunodefence for three years. By the way, ticks now are more and more often detected in city parks, so it is not useless and will pay off. Unfortunately. some tick-born diseases like Lyme borrelioses don't have any vaccine.

Encephalitic vaccination can have side effects like fever, general uneasiness and headache, but not all the people feel them.

If you are bitten
If a tick has nevertheless bitten you, you should try to remove it carefully, without leaving its head inside. The sooner - the better. The tick may be analyzed by medical workers in order to detect its infection. The wound must be flushed with water and cured with iodine or any alcohol-containing substance. In you aren't vaccinated, you should get an injection of immunoglobulin within four days, but actually, the sooner - the better. Not each tick is infected, but tick-born diseases have a long incubation period and may cause disability.

Measures and facilities listed here pass both for children and adults. It is not very difficult, anyway easier than long and expensive cure of neglected cases. Welcome to the forests and have a nice time!

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Author: Yulia Buzykina

Tags: safety Ecotourism Active Travel   

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