Tick ​​bite, how to limit the risks and how to behave

Tick ​​bite, how to limit the risks and how to behave

Not all ticks are created equal and some can transmit serious diseases. If you get stung you have to extract the parasite within 24 hours

It's hot, getting hot. If we add to this the "collapse" of field trips in the lockdown period, with a consequent increase in wildlife that is no longer disturbed by man, then the conditions for tick proliferation are created. These animals are real "enemies" of trips in the countryside and in the woods, also because often one does not notice the dangerous contact. Here, in summary, how to behave.

"Attack" with anesthesia

The tick bite, this is and not a real "bite", can be completely unnoticeable. The reason? The attack is painless because the animal has developed an extremely efficient system to move properly: first, thanks to a sort of miniature "scissors", it manages to cut the skin. Then he makes a sort of "puncture" through a species of proboscis called a hypostome. It happens that you don't notice what is happening because at the time of the attack, ticks manage to introduce a series of compounds into the affected area that have an almost anesthetic function and also contain principles that limit inflammation. for the "enemy" this sneaky strategy has an important meaning: for the tick, in fact, the important thing is to have the opportunity to eat quietly and therefore not be perceived is part of the "strategy" that it puts in place.

The pet attaches itself with a real rostrum to the skin and then also emits a compound that has the function of making its body adhere well to the skin, to limit the risk of detachment. In fact, to "attach" to the prey these enemies employ special "protuberances", called chelicerae, through which they cause the first imperceptible "hole" on the skin. Once they come into contact with a very small blood vessel, in which the vital liquid flows, they "hang" through hooked rostrums and then come off as soon as the meal is finished. Be careful though: not all ticks are created equal.

The "hard" ones, which have a kind of protective shield on the back in males (these are the ones that can transmit a potentially serious pathology, meningoencephalitis), and the "soft" ones: these are more fragile, but they can "steal" much more blood because they swell out of all proportion. Meningoencephalitis, in particular, is transmitted by the tick Ixodes Ricinus. The animal can inoculate a virus into the human body through small painless bites. At first, this disease can be confused with a banal flu just out of season (mild fever, headache, muscle pain that appears one to two weeks after the bite), followed by (if neglected or underestimated) a second phase with the involvement of the central nervous system. To date, there is no targeted treatment for this infection.

In addition, the tick bite can also transmit other pathologies directly through the burr of the parasite, such as Lyme disease, caused by Borrelia Burgdorferi. The pathology initially brings a redness that moves along the skin gradually expanding, which can be associated with pain in the joints and some flu-like symptoms. After a certain time the infection spreads through the blood and can cause meningitis, polyneuritis (inflammation of the nervous tissue), heart rhythm disturbances with inflammation of the myocardial cells, even blockages in the reaction of the nerves. Above all, the symptoms can reappear even after some time, after a latency phase, in the form of chronic or intermittent arthritis. This is why it is important to recognize the picture and to implement targeted antibiotic therapy early.

First rule, eliminate the enemy

If you are attacked by the tick, the first recommendation is to extract the parasite within twenty-four hours, taking care to fully remove the tick's body and rostrum. In general, the animal tends to settle in the hottest and most humid points, such as the scalp and armpits. The ability to hide, combined with the fact that when the victim bites the tick emits particular substances that anesthetize the affected area, it often means that the contact is not even felt.

On the countermeasure front, the parasite's head must be taken with thin-tipped tweezers. The forceps should be positioned as close as possible to the skin. If necessary, the operation must be carried out using magnifying glasses. When the head of the tick is "caught", it is necessary to pull slowly but with constant force until the parasite is completely extracted, taking care to disinfect the area where the bite took place carefully: if a small part of the animal remains at the inside the skin, the doctor must be asked to perform the maneuver.

However, it is important to remember to contact your doctor if redness, pain and fever remain after the complete elimination of the tick or if these symptoms appear after the close encounter. No need to try to forcefully remove the tick or try to move it laterally. There is only a risk that the head will get stuck in the skin. Remember instead to always work with tweezers.

Category: Health
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