Most recently, most Russians perceived tick-borne encephalitis, as a kind of curiosity. These terrible arachnids usually met in the Far East and Siberia. However, recently cases of bites began to be registered not only in the taiga, but also in the suburbs of the largest megacities. The mites are attacking us in cottages and even in parks already in the European part of the country.

In this case, the creatures-bloodsuckers attack people not only in nature, but also penetrate into our homes. Suitable for this purpose are clothes, bouquets of wildflowers and wool of domestic animals. So it turns out that out of the total number of people with tick-borne encephalitis, 75-80% are urban dwellers. As a result, ticks, as well as the disease, transferred by them, encephalitis, were a source of fear, and hence rumors with myths.


Mites are insects.

The media often announce the danger of tick-insects. In fact, these creatures are like insects, but they are not. Ticks are arachnids. It is easy to make sure of this, since they have 8 paws, and not 6, as in insects.

Any mite is dangerous.

As soon as many people see a tick in the wool of a pet, they panic. If the arachnid has appeared on the skin, then almost immediately they run to the hospital. In reality, reality is not so terrible. The vast majority of ticks that inhabit the territory of our country is harmless. The real danger comes from ixodid ticks, which have a characteristic scute on their back. When these creatures get drunk on blood, they noticeably change their appearance. The female is capable of 80-120 fold increase in volume during feeding. Males bite too, but they are not so insatiable. It is these mites that carry the virus of encephalitis. In Russia, about 3000 people become ill with tick-borne encephalitis per year. As the summer temperatures increase, the range of distribution of these creatures increases, so that the risk of infection gradually increases.

The encephalitis virus lives only in ticks.

This statement seems obvious, because not in vain is an infected tick and is called encephalitis. In fact, this arachnid only carries an infection, and a kind of a reservoir for it are domestic and wild animals. When a tick bites an infected rodent, goat or bird, the virus enters the body of arachnid. There encephalitis begins to multiply successfully and accumulate in the salivary glands and ovaries. If the tick bites a person, then the virus is already transmitted to the victim’s blood and will begin to actively multiply already there. And the carrier itself is not afraid of infection, it can persist for years in the body of the being. In general, tick-borne encephalitis can be infected in another way – the infection can be transmitted with raw goat or cow’s milk. To protect yourself, you need a raw drink to boil.

Mites jumping on their victims from the branches of trees.

When a mite appears on the shoulder or head of a child, it seems obvious that he jumped on his victim from somewhere above, from a branch. In fact, ixodid mites on plants do not rise above the level of the knee. But in the passing person, these creatures cling. Ticks have an interesting feature – they have a negative geotactic, resulting in clothing can creep only up. The bloodsuckers are looking for the warmest and most vulnerable areas of open skin. Moreover, the mites are also quite legible, they can choose the place suitable for bites for several hours. The highest points of the termination of their route as a result and generate such a myth.

Ticks more willingly attack people in white clothes.

This myth is easy to understand when mites researchers collect them by thinning the grass with a stick with a hooked white rag. It turns out to be quite a lot of creatures, which is clearly visible. Only here the ticks have a primitive visual apparatus that simply does not allow to distinguish colors. When the bloodsucker goes hunting, it is located on the lower branches or on the grass, spreading the front legs.The mite simply grasps at everything that moves past, not discerning the color, sex, or species of a living being. Scientists also use a white rag to collect for a perfectly understandable reason – on it the mites are better visible. To protect yourself from them, do not pay extra attention to the color of clothing, any one will do. You just have to try, so that the cuffs of the pants and the sleeves fit tightly to the body. On the head, it’s best to put on a kerchief. Walking in a dangerous zone is best every 2-3 hours to stop at a halt and inspect each other. And in general, after any return from the forests and fields, children, themselves and animals should be carefully checked so as not to miss the sucking ticks. Just do not forget that the real anti-entsefalitny suit should be quite dense, which in hot weather will lead to overheating. And this in turn will reduce the tactile sensitivity of our skin. As a result, a person simply does not pay attention that a small spider-like creature creeps along it.

The tick must be pulled out by a specialist.

People are afraid to pull out a tick, without fail calling for the help of a specialist. But is it worth it to rush headlong into the hospital? Bitten into the body of the mite should be immediately removed. After all, the duration of its suction determines the amount of the virus that enters the blood. The longer the tick will drink blood, the more difficult it will be to have the disease. But to show the very being, preferably still alive, specialists still worth it. This will make sure whether the tick is a vector of the virus. Immediate removal is even more important, because in one infected arachnid contains up to 10 billion particles of the virus. To encephalitis has evolved, enough a millionth of that amount.


To remove the mite, it is necessary to lubricate it with vegetable oil or petroleum jelly.

This folk method is based on the assertion that the poor mite will have nothing to breathe, and he will independently get out of the wound. Only here neither oil, nor other means will force a bloodsucker to weaken his grip and pull his head out. There is a standard and proven method of removing the tick. It must be tied with a thread as close as possible to the proboscis, that is, to the skin of a person. Then the ends should be stretched and smoothly swinging movements to pull out the tick. If the head is still torn off, it must be removed immediately, like a normal splinter. For this purpose, a sterile needle is used, calcined on fire. If you try to pull the tick with your fingers, it can only exacerbate the situation. Its internal contents together with the virus can be literally pressed into the wound.

To protect against ticks, repellents should be used.

Now you can get special protective substances, smeared with which, you can supposedly protect yourself from ticks. Such means, although they exist, can not guarantee complete protection because of their low efficiency. Ticks have their own hunting strategy. They are waiting for their victims in the grass and bushes along the paths, focusing, among other things, on the smell. As soon as the object passes by, the mite gets caught in the body or clothes, and then looks for the best place to bite. So the result of hunting is practically not affected by whether the repellent is smeared or not. These protective substances have a low efficiency, since the time of their action is rather limited. Repellents quickly erode, wash out, and the actual substance itself is destroyed naturally. In addition, individual individuals and populations of ticks can react differently to such smells.

Vaccination against encephalitis can be avoided through special medications.

There is an opinion that vaccination is not needed if you constantly carry with you in case of a bite iodantipyrine or a specific immunoglobulin. The virus will be killed after a shot or pill. However, these drugs, as well as a fairly large range of antiviral drugs offered in pharmacies, are simply low. Some studies have even shown that the condition of people infected with the virus after the introduction of immunoglobulin deteriorated.Yodantipirin in general is contraindicated in people with a disruption of the thyroid gland. We must clearly understand that there are simply no special drugs that defeat tick-borne encephalitis. Those medicines used by doctors are needed to alleviate the symptoms of the disease. The virus will eventually die on its own, and a person for life will receive a permanent immunity to tick-borne encephalitis at the cost of his disability. So the first symptoms of this viral disease require immediate treatment in an infectious disease hospital. Some forms of encephalitis can develop so rapidly that even urgent resuscitation will be required. The instruction says that a specific immunoglobulin must be injected 1-2 days after the bite. In practice, the mite sucks blood so imperceptibly that it can simply not be noticed. Once in the face of symptoms, the introduction of immunoglobulin is already losing its meaning. And the effectiveness of this tool is rather controversial. At iodantipirin efficiency according to the manufacturer’s data is only 10%. So do not rely on this “wonderful” tool.

Vaccination can not protect against tick-borne encephalitis.

According to this myth, there are people who did not save the vaccine from the disease. The most reliable way to protect against tick-borne encephalitis is vaccination. In this case, do not think that thanks to a single injection there will be full immunity. Vaccination must be completely. The emergency version is shortened and will only fit for one season. But that the vaccine was effective for a long period, you need to go through a full cycle of vaccination, and a year later undergo a revaccination. The truth and an unvaccinated person after a bite of an encephalitis mite does not necessarily fall ill. The disease can pass in an erased or latent form. In this case, you can learn about her presence only by examining the blood for the presence of IgG antibodies fighting with the virus in her. Experts argue that vaccination remains the only effective means of individual prevention.

Dangerous tongs are found only in the Far East and Siberia.

Today this is far from being the case. Most cases, about 70%, do register in these regions. But the Tverskaya, Kostroma, Yaroslavl and Leningrad regions were already considered unsuccessful areas for encephalitis. The Vologda, Sverdlovsk and Tomsk regions also became significant foci of tick-borne borreliosis. Cases of the disease even in the suburbs were noted. Every year, several thousand people turn to doctors complaining of a tick bite, and in fact almost one in ten bite survives encephalitis. Such cases are registered even in Moscow – pincers have chosen the park of Friendship, Losiny Osty, Serebryany Bor.

Mites are dangerous only in May-June.

In our country, the first peak of tick activity occurs early in April, and ends only in mid-June. The largest number of bites is traditionally registered in May. And in August, the second wave of aggression of bloodsuckers begins, it lasts until October. There were cases of bites in November, and even in January. So a dangerous insect can manifest itself and on New Year’s holidays, do not include vigilance for only two months a year.

The tick bite is easy to see, around it there is reddening, increasing in size.

Erythema is only relevant during the period of borreliosis, and even then not always. In half the cases, the bite of the tick is not accompanied by reddening of the skin. And the creature preliminarily allocates an anesthetic substance. So after a walk in the forest, you should carefully examine your body not only for red spots, it would be nice to take a shower.


The mites do not bite drunk.

This myth is quite easy to explain. The drunk man hardly finds a bloodsucker on himself. In fact, drunks bite just like any other people, the smell of alcohol mites does not scare away.However, the fact is that in one group of tourists there must be a person to whom the mites will literally stick, like the one to which they generally remain indifferent.

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