Ticks - Why Bites Are Dangerous. Symptoms And Consequences

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Ticks - Why Bites Are Dangerous. Symptoms And Consequences
Ticks - Why Bites Are Dangerous. Symptoms And Consequences

Video: Ticks - Why Bites Are Dangerous. Symptoms And Consequences

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Video: What to Do After a Tick Bite - Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Research Center 2023, February

Ticks are a carrier of many dangerous infections. A tick bite can pose a real threat to human life. Contrary to popular belief, ticks are not insects. Although they are often called that, without a claim to scientific accuracy. But people "savvy" in zoology will confirm that ticks are animals belonging to the type of arthropods and the class of arachnids. And all this, naturally, does not add to their attractiveness.

Traditionally, ticks are not "loved", despised and feared like bugs or cockroaches. And by and large, there is a reason! Not only do they bite and suck blood, they are also capable of infecting a person with terrible serious diseases. Which are especially dangerous for children - due to the fact that children's immunity is not yet as developed and strong as the "seasoned" adult. In most regions of Russia, the first active ticks appear already in April.

Despite the fact that ticks are not capable of jumping or flying, it is very easy to pick them up - they fall on their "victims" from bushes or from tall grass, firmly clinging first to clothing, and then to skin.

The ticks choose the most accurate moment for the "throw" by smell - they perfectly smell the approach of a person or animals for several tens of meters. Ticks do not fall on us from the trees, as many believe - they simply cannot climb that high, and they have nothing to do there.

On the contrary, living in grass and not tall bushes, ticks, as a rule, cling to our trousers, skirts and jackets, and then deftly crawl upward, "guided" by the smell of skin and sweat glands. When bitten, the tick not only "cuts" into the skin with its head (literally!), But also, for greater reliability of the union with its victim, releases a special substance into saliva, which literally sticks the insect to the bite site.

Therefore, a tick can literally revel in the blood of its "owner" for several days in a row, and no forces of wind, water, friction or attraction have the power to tear it away from the victim.

The content of the article:

  • 1 Ticks - why bites are dangerous for children and adults
  • 2 Ticks - bite symptoms
  • 3 Where the tick bites most often
  • 4 Ticks - consequences of a bite
  • 5 Tick bite insurance
  • 6 Ticks - prevention of tick-borne encephalitis
  • 7 Ticks - prevention of borreliosis

Ticks - why bites are dangerous for children and adults

There are many diseases carried by ticks - about a dozen. But the most dangerous (namely, deadly) of them are two: tick-borne encephalitis and tick-borne borreliosis.

Tick-borne encephalitis (otherwise - spring-summer tick-borne meningoencephalitis). This is a viral infection characterized by severe intoxication and damage to the brain and spinal cord.

Often, tick-borne encephalitis ends with persistent neurological and psychiatric complications, and sometimes, alas, death.

Tick-borne encephalitis virus can exist and multiply in the organisms of about 130 species of animals and birds. Ticks suck out the virus along with the blood of these animals, and then - when bitten, they can transmit a dangerous infection to humans. The primary symptoms of tick-borne encephalitis:

  • Muscle weakness;
  • High fever, fever;
  • Temporary anorexia;
  • Strong headache;
  • Severe muscle pain.

These symptoms may appear up to 60 days after infection. Tick-borne borreliosis (or otherwise - Lyme disease, or - Lyme borreliosis). This is a rather serious bacterial infection caused by several types of specific bacteria that are transmitted to humans through a tick bite. Tick-borne borreliosis is the most common disease that can be caught after "meeting" a tick.

Insects "catch" the causative agents of this disease in deer, dogs, birds, sheep, cows and other representatives of the fauna, then safely "transplanting" them to a person when bitten along with their saliva. Of the early symptoms of tick-borne borreliosis, the most obvious are: Weakness; Strong headache; A characteristic rash, which is called in the medical environment "erythema annulus migrans".

The peculiarity of tick-borne borreliosis is that in the early stages this disease is quite successfully treated with courses of special antibiotics. Moreover, after treatment, a person develops a stable immunity to these bacteria.

But if the disease is started, "overlooked", or completely ignored, it quickly spills over into a chronic (practically incurable) form that affects the nervous system, heart and joints, and can lead to disability and even death of a person. Most often, the areas of distribution of tick-borne encephalitis and tick-borne borreliosis coincide. Therefore, from the bite of one tick, you can become infected with two infections at once.

Ticks - bite symptoms


Tick ​​activity peaks between April and June, and it is during this period that you need to be extremely vigilant. We can immediately say that the tick bite is absolutely painless. His saliva contains special substances that have an anesthetic effect, so the moment of the bite is almost invisible. Many, however, may not even know that they have become a victim of an attack. Most of the ticks feed on a new host every time, therefore, when they are full, the tick simply falls off and goes away. However, visible manifestations can still be. They are most often found in allergy sufferers, as well as young children and the elderly. The severity of symptoms depends on the state of health of the person and the number of sucked ticks.

The first signs can appear already after 2-4 hours after the bite and include itching and rashes at the site of the bite, chills, weakness, aching joints, headache. In the future, the body's reaction may intensify, and the following will be added to the list of symptoms:

  • photophobia;
  • temperature increase;
  • tachycardia;
  • local enlargement of the lymph nodes;
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • labored breathing.

In the case of a strong immune response to tick saliva, anaphylactic shock with all its consequences is possible. Fortunately, the tick is clearly visible on the body, especially if feeding lasts several hours. Therefore, a timely examination of a person and the removal of a tick can improve the situation.

Where the tick bites most often

Ticks have their favorite bite and suction sites. Moreover, they differ in children and adults - most likely due to the difference in the growth of the first and second. For example, in children, ticks are most often found on the head (and most likely behind the ears), and in adults, the most "popular" bite site is the chest, arms and armpits. In addition to the head, ticks also attack children in the following areas of the body:

  • pincers

    Neck and chest;

  • Hands;
  • Axillary region (specifically - in children over 10 years old);
  • Back.

As a rule, the tick does not completely enter the bite site - its head is under the skin, and the body is outside. Gradually, as the tick “saturates”, its abdomen swells and darkens. All the most dangerous substances (possible pathogens and toxins) are found in the tick just in the body. That is why there is always the possibility that even an infected animal will not harm the child's health. But only on condition - that you, adults, clearly, quickly and very carefully "deal with" the tick.

Ticks - the consequences of a bite

On the territory of our country, ticks are most often carriers of the following diseases:

Tick-borne encephalitis. The infection leads to damage to the gray matter of the brain and causes neurological damage of varying severity. Their result can be both temporary paralysis of the extremities, and more severe consequences, including death

Borreliosis (Lyme disease). A dangerous ailment in which the skin, joints, nervous tissue, lymphatic system and internal organs are affected

Hemorrhagic fever. Causes severe intoxication, fever, subcutaneous and intracerebral hemorrhages. With timely professional medical care, treatment is usually successful

Monocytic ehrlichiosis. It is characterized by neurological disorders, general intoxication, inflammation of the respiratory tract, fever, and a number of other pathological manifestations

Granulocytic anaplasmosis. In healthy people, it proceeds quite easily and causes symptoms similar to acute respiratory infections and intestinal infection. If a person with a weakened immune system falls ill, complications from the nervous system and kidneys are possible

However, as studies show, about 80–90% of all sick from a tick bite are infected with borreliosis or (less often) tick-borne encephalitis, therefore, first of all, it is these diseases that need to be feared.

Tick ​​bite insurance

Tick ​​bite insurance has its own characteristics when compared to other types of insurance. So, the insurance policy does not provide monetary compensation for a tick bite, but a number of medical services:

  1. The victim will be admitted to a special medical facility dealing with seroprophylaxis.
  2. The tick will be removed.
  3. Within two to three days after the bite, the victim will receive a preventive course of immunoglobulin.

All other services may vary depending on the insurance company.


For example, the most budgetary insurance option provides only a single immunization. If you pay for more expensive insurance, you can get not only the full amount of immunization, but also therapy in the hospital if the disease develops, as well as all the necessary medications for post-hospital recovery.

The insurance can be individual, or it can be family (one insurance policy is issued at once for all household members).

When making insurance, you need to ask the agent as much as possible about all the intricacies. After that, you need to carefully read the contract - some insurance agents exaggerate and embellish the benefits of insurance.

You should be very careful when considering the following points

1. The amount of insurance. This is the amount of money that the insurance company will use for medical care. Sometimes the insurer claims to provide full medical care and recovery, but a very small amount of money is included in the contract. In this case, it is almost impossible to get everything you need. To calculate the amount of money you need, you should find out the prices for immunization and all necessary medical procedures.

2. What services are included. What exactly does the insurance company undertake to provide?

The policy can only indicate a single immunization. In this case, it is useless to expect more, even if the amount of insurance is large enough. The question arises: what do you need so much money for? This question is most relevant when buying an insurance policy for the whole family.

3. There must be an appendix to the insurance contract: a list of all medical institutions where you can get help with insurance. Moreover, it is convenient if they are quite close. There are insurance companies that provide services throughout your country.

After all, if you seek medical help from an institution with which there is no contract, you will need to pay for all received medical services. Most policies indicate that immunoglobulin is administered no more than once every 4 weeks. This is dictated by medical indications: injecting this drug more often is not only useless, but even harmful. For a month, the medicine acts as a kind of inoculation.

Ticks - prevention of tick-borne encephalitis

Ticks - why bites are dangerous. Symptoms and consequences
Ticks - why bites are dangerous. Symptoms and consequences

It is clear that the main and most reliable preventive measure is correct behavior. Going to rest in the country, in the forest or forest park areas, it is better to wear clothes that cover the whole body and a hat, and then generously spray yourself with tick repellent. While walking, it is advisable to keep to the paths and not break through the thicket. After returning, the first step is to undress and carefully examine yourself from head to toe.

Vaccination is a very effective preventive measure. No matter how hard you try to protect yourself from the bite, there is no guarantee that this will not happen. Therefore, vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis will help "tune" the immune system to fight the infection. The effectiveness of this method is approximately 90–95%.

If the person has not been vaccinated, and the bite could not be avoided, it is advisable to go to the hospital and inject an anti-mite immunoglobulin.

And the faster the better. The drug contains a ready-made set of antibodies to fight the virus, obtained from the blood of vaccinated donors. Its cost, of course, is quite high, but there is no particular choice here - either to give an injection, or to expose yourself to the risk of becoming seriously ill. In addition, special general-purpose antiviral drugs are currently available, which may also be useful as a prophylaxis.

Ticks - prevention of borreliosis

The main means of preventing this disease is the competent removal of the tick. If a tick has bitten, then it is important to quickly and correctly remove it, observing certain rules. The causative agent of borreliosis is not in saliva, but in the contents of the tick's digestive tract, so the chances of getting sick directly depend on the duration of feeding. That is, the longer the parasite sucks blood, the higher the risk of the pathogen entering the bloodstream. It is strictly forbidden to smear the tick with oils or corrosive liquids. In this case, he can partially regurgitate the eaten back into the wound, increasing the likelihood of infection. You cannot crush it with your fingers either.

Vaccinations against borreliosis do not exist at the moment, therefore, doxycycline is usually used in a dosage of 200 mg once for drug prevention. Although laboratory studies have not shown its high effectiveness. In addition, doxycycline has a number of contraindications that must be taken into account.

As stated, antibiotic prophylaxis does not completely eliminate the risk. Therefore, you need to closely monitor your well-being and the condition of the bite site. If characteristic symptoms appear, you should consult a doctor immediately.

In addition, even if the disease has not manifested itself for 1-2 months, it is still better to do an antibody test and, in case of a negative result, repeat it after a few more months.


In general, a tick bite can be considered a cause for concern. But you also need to know that not every tick is a carrier of the disease. And even if it is an infectious specimen that is caught, the chances of getting sick are quite low. Therefore, it is also not worth setting up panic ahead of time. Factors such as the immune status of the body, the viability of infectious agents, as well as their number that have managed to penetrate the body, play an important role here. So if it is not possible to take a tick for analysis or quickly visit a medical institution, at first you can limit yourself to careful monitoring of your condition within 1-2 months after the bite.

Find out more:

  • Eye mite - home treatment
  • Tick-borne borreliosis - diagnosis, treatment and prevention
  • Tick ​​- how to get it out at home. The ways

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