Stop the tick

April 1, 2014

All you need to know about the prevention, testing and removal of ticks.

Stop the tick
Everything about tick prevention, testing and removal

Each year millions of people are bitten by a tick . Usually, such a bite is harmless, but in the last few decades the risk of infection with the Borrelia bacteria increased significantly. How risky is it and what can you do to keep those risks as small as possible?

A tick is not an insect, but an arachnid arthropod parasite that live off the blood of people and especially animals. Ticks are active all year , but most active from May to September, which is when most ticks are reported. A tick can cause serious problems. That’s because, when sucking the blood, the tick can transfer viruses, bacteria, parasites, and even poison . If the tick is stunned (with alcohol) or heated (with a cigarette), it goes into shock and responds by releasing pathogens into the body through its saliva.

Lyme disease
The best-known and dangerous bacteria that a tick can transmit is the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, wich causes Lyme disease. In the Netherlands, approximately 24 % of the ticks carries the Borrelia bacteria which results in 100,000 German and 22,000 Dutch infections per year. And that number is rising. If you act quickly after suffering from a tick bite, the infection can be treated with intensive antibiotics. If not, this illness can ultimately lead to severe health problems, such as joint pain, cardiac arrhythmias and disorders of the nervous system .

How do you prevent tick bites?
There is no vaccine against Lyme disease. For that reason it is important that you avoid tick bites. Ticks do not live high in the trees, but in the grass, bushes, heath and in low-growing foliage. That is why they usually first come into contact with your feet, ankles, and lower legs. Cover your skin as much as possible and tuck your trouser legs into your socks. With impregnated socks, you can protect your feet and ankles even more effectively from ticks. Uncovered skin can be protected with a Deet-based insect repellent. DEET 50% offers up to 5 hours of protection against ticks and is suitable for children from 6 years. The Citriodiol®-based Natural is an alternative to DEET. Care Plus® Natural offers up to 4 hours of protection against ticks and is suitable for children aged three months and older.

Removing a tick
Are you in a risk area? Check yourself, your partner, and your children frequently for ticks. After a tick bite, you need to act quickly. If you wait for the first signs of illness, the disease can already have become chronic. Make sure to remove the tick within eight hours to minimize the possibility of infection. Remove the entire tick and disinfect the site of the bite with alcohol. The tick can be easily and safely removed using the Care Plus® Tick Remover . Make sure to write down the date of the tick bite, the site of the bite on your boday, and the area where you contracted the bite.

Testing the tick for the Borrelia bacteria
Always see your doctor if a red ring (Erythema migrans ) appears around the bite or if you have any symptoms. This rash appears within three weeks at the bite site and demonstrates the first stage of Lyme disease. However, the red ring does (only) appear in 35 to 50% of the cases. The earlier you start treatment for Lyme disease, the more effective it will be. The Care Plus® Tick -Test lets you determine immediately after the bite whether the tick carries the Borrelia bacteria that causes Lyme disease. The tick test is designed like a pregnancy test and produces a result within 20 minutes. If the result is positive, your doctor can start treatment immediately which increases the chances of success .