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Where to watch out for ticks in the Czech Republic? City parks are primarily a threat

Ticks are widespread throughout the Czech Republic, even more so in cities than in forests. But there is almost no place where it is not at all. It is therefore a good idea to protect yourself from them and to inspect yourself properly after every trip to nature. After the tick has been removed, it is necessary to monitor possible symptoms of Lyme disease or tick-borne encephalitis. The diary provides answers to the most important questions related to this parasite.

The longer the tick is attached, the higher the risk of infection

| Photo: Shutterstock

Where are ticks found?
Experts warn that people have to watch out for ticks everywhere there is greenery. It is no longer like twenty years ago, when it was mainly found in southern Bohemia or along the Berounka and Sázava rivers in Central Bohemia. Although their number is not growing significantly, the number of places where they live is increasing.

Where are the ticks not?
According to experts, there is almost no area where it would ticks was not. “There is also an overgrowth of some localities near cities or directly in cities, which provides suitable conditions for tick hosts,” said parasitologist Jan Votýpka from the Department of Parasitology of the Faculty of Natural Sciences of Charles University.

Dispose of ticks by flushing them down the toilet, or send them to a laboratory for inspection

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Are there more ticks in cities or in forests?
According to the first results of the “Ticks in the City” project of the State Health Institute (started last year and will last until 2026), there are generally more ticks living in city parks than in forests. Milder winters caused by climate change are also to blame for the expansion of the places where these mites feed on sucking the blood of mammals, i.e. humans, reptiles or birds.

Which animals host ticks?
The hosts of ticks are mainly small rodents, which live well in urban greenery or around inhabited areas with bushes. And also with food in garbage cans. Ticks also prey on birds or forest animals.

Source: Youtube

How to protect yourself from ticks?
Ticks transmit Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis. There is no vaccination against Lyme disease. Repellents, enough vitamin B (in food or food supplements), walking in the green in full shoes and socks can help. It is important to look around after coming from nature and, if necessary Remove ticks found as soon as possible.

Vaccination works against tick-borne encephalitis. “It is the most reliable method to avoid the risk of contracting the disease and its permanent consequences, including paralysis,” pointed out doctor Dita Smíšková from the Department of Infectious Diseases of Prague’s Bulovka University Hospital.

Ticks mainly transmit encephalitis and Lyme disease.  Both mentioned diseases attack the nervous system

Up to a third of ticks transmit diseases. Climate change is also contributing to new infections

The disease can have a severe course, for example, in pensioners. “They often develop a more severe neurological disability, there is a deterioration of the functions of the nervous system, including in the sense of memory impairment, cognitive impairment, and sleep disorders,” said doctor Lenka Petroušová from the Department of Infectious Medicine, Ostrava University Hospital

How to recognize a skin problem?
In Lyme disease, a red spot with a pale center often appears on the skin. But experts warn that this is not the rule. They therefore recommend visiting a doctor (who will prescribe antibiotics) in case of increased fatigue, temperature or malaise, even if the spot does not appear. You cannot recognize tick-borne encephalitis on the skin. It manifests itself about two weeks after the transmission of the infection, when it resembles a virus, which disappears within a week. For some it ends there, for others the disease spreads to the brain and spinal cord.

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