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Sunday 24.06.2018 | Name days: Jānis
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First spring tick bite registered in Latvia

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThis year’s tick season started earlier than usual – Riga Eastern Clinical University Hospital’s Infectology Centre removed this year’s first tick of a person’s body on March 8th.

The tick season in Latvia usually begins in April and lasts until the end of October. Good weather may last longer than that, doctors say.

If a person has been infected with tick-borne encephalitis, the average incubation period is 7-14 days since the bite. Sometimes the incubation period lasts two days, sometimes it is 30 days. The illness usually begins with increased body temperature, general weakness, headaches, aches in bones and muscles and general dizziness. Symptoms may back off after 3-5 days, and the patient may feel better. However, the illness picks up after a while and becomes stronger. One-third of all patients infected with tick-borne encephalitis are cured. In all other cases this dangerous disease seriously damages the person’s nervous system.

There are no specific medications that affect the tick-borne encephalitis virus. Antibiotics have no effect as well. If a patient has any suspicions of having encephalitis, he or she should immediately go to the nearest hospital for medical examination.

The only effective way to protect oneself from tick-borne encephalitis is vaccination.

Even though this can be done throughout the year, it is advised to receive shots during months when ticks are not active.

Infectologists remind – if a tick has bitten you, it needs to be removed as soon as possible. It is best to use cotton tippet in spirit, vodka or other substance with strong smell. This weakens the tick’s defensive mechanisms. Under no circumstances should oil or butter be used – these substances cause vomiting in ticks, which increases the spread of the virus in the body. After a few minutes of smearing vodka over the tick, it should be held using pincers as close as possible to its sucker. The removal process should be done slowly and smoothly, so that the tick is undamaged. Disinfectant should then be applied to the bite area. Hands should be washed clean as well after the whole operation, doctors say.

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