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Scabies in Adults: Condition, Treatments, and Pictures – Overview

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Images of Scabies

Overview

Scabies is an infestation of the skin caused by a tiny mite called Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis. Scabies is very contagious and spreads rapidly in crowded areas such as hospitals, nursing homes, child care facilities, prisons, and other locations where people spend extended periods of time in close contact with one another.

The rash of scabies is extremely itchy and develops when a pregnant female mite burrows into the skin and lays her eggs. The human immune system is very sensitive to the presence of the mite and produces an allergic response that causes intense itching. Although a person who is infested with scabies usually only has 10–20 mites on his or her entire body, there may be a large number of lesions because of this allergic response. Without treatment, the condition will not usually improve.

Who’s at risk?

Scabies is seen in people of all ethnicities, all ages, both sexes, and at all socioeconomic levels. The infestation is not caused by lack of personal hygiene but is more frequently seen in people who live in crowded, urban conditions. People at particular risk are those who are in crowded living situations, such as hospitals, nursing homes, and prisons. Though scabies is extremely contagious, it usually requires prolonged skin-to-skin contact with a person who is already infested. Limited contact, such as a hug or handshake, will not normally spread the infection. However, scabies is easily spread to sexual partners and to other members of the household. Even if a person does not yet have symptoms, he or she can pass the infestation on to other people. Less commonly, it may be spread by sharing towels, clothing, or bedding.

Signs and Symptoms

Although the entire body may itch, the most common locations for the lesions of scabies include:

  • The areas between the fingers (finger webs)
  • Inner wrists, inner elbows, and armpits
  • Breasts of females and genitalia of males
  • Navel (umbilicus)
  • Lower abdomen
  • Buttocks
  • Backs of knees

Although in adults it is rare to see lesions on the face, scalp, and neck, these areas are commonly affected in children aged younger than 2 years.

The most obvious signs of scabies are pink-to-red bumps, which can look like pimples or bug bites, sometimes with scale or a scab on them. However, the tell-tale lesion of scabies is the burrow, which is small and often difficult to see. Typically, a burrow appears as a small, thread-like, scaly line (3–10 mm long), sometimes with a tiny black speck (the burrowing mite) at one end. The adult mite is about 0.3 mm long and is very difficult to see. Scabies mites crawl; they do not jump or fly.

People who are exposed to scabies may not develop itchy lesions for up to 6 weeks after becoming infested, as the immune system takes some time to develop an allergic response to the mites. However, individuals who have had scabies before may develop the rash within several days of re-exposure.

Scabies is intensely itchy, especially at night. Excessive scratching of the itchy lesions can create breaks in the skin, which may then become infected with bacteria.

A severe form of scabies, called Norwegian scabies or crusted scabies, is seen in:

  • Elderly people
  • Individuals with weakened immune systems (such as organ transplant recipients or people with HIV/AIDS)
  • Malnourished people
  • People who are physically and/or mentally impaired or disabled

In people with Norwegian/crusted scabies, the skin is covered with thick, white scales and crusts. The lesions are widespread, appearing over the scalp, face, elbows, knees, palms, and soles of the feet. Interestingly, these infestations may not be itchy, although the lesions may contain up to two million mites.

Self-Care Guidelines

Scabies requires prescription medication in order to stop the infestation. Once you are under a doctor’s care, there are steps you can take to prevent scabies from coming back:

  • Mites cannot survive off the human body for more than 48–72 hours. Therefore, wash all clothing, bedding, and towels used by the infested person in the past 72 hours in hot water, and dry these items in a hot dryer.
  • Vacuum all carpets, rugs, and furniture, and discard the vacuum bags.
  • Put anything that cannot be laundered into plastic bags for at least 72 hours.
  • Pets do not need to be treated because the mite only lives on humans.

You can return to work or school the day after treatment is started.

When to Seek Medical Care

See your doctor if you develop an extremely itchy rash that does not go away. If other members of your household or people with whom you are in close contact have similar itchy rashes, they should also be evaluated by a physician.

Treatments Your Physician May Prescribe

Your physician may be able to diagnose scabies simply by examining your skin for typical lesions, such as burrows. Your doctor may also diagnose scabies by gently scraping some skin onto a slide and looking with a microscope for mites, eggs, or mite feces.

In most cases of scabies, your doctor will prescribe a medicated cream or lotion to kill the infestation, such as:

  • Permethrin 5% cream (Elimite®) – This is the first choice for treatment because it is very effective and safe. It is safe even for children and pregnant women. Rinse the cream off after 8–14 hours, and repeat in 7 days to kill recently hatched larvae.
  • Crotamiton 10% lotion or cream (Eurax®, Crotan®) – This is not as effective as permethrin and can be irritating to the skin. Apply once daily for 5 consecutive days.
  • Precipitated sulfur (5% or 10%) – This is prepared with petroleum jelly and is applied nightly for 3 consecutive nights. This is often the best choice for children aged younger than 2 years and for pregnant and lactating women because it is very safe to use. Unfortunately, it is greasy, has an odor, and can stain clothing.
  • Lindane 1% solution – Lindane can be toxic to the nervous system. Therefore, avoid using it for young children and infants, pregnant or lactating women, and people with diseases affecting the nerves (neurological diseases). Apply to the body, rinse in 8 hours, and repeat in 7 days.

When using a topical cream, lotion, or ointment, be sure to follow these steps (unless your physician gives other instructions):

  • For adults, apply to the entire body except for the face and scalp.
  • For children, apply to the entire body, including the face and scalp, as these areas are commonly infested.
  • Smear the product beneath the fingernails and toenails.
  • Apply to body folds, including inside the navel, in the buttocks crease, and between the fingers and toes.

In more severe cases of scabies, your doctor may prescribe oral medications:

  • Ivermectin (Stromectol®) pills – Take once and then repeat 1–2 weeks later. Do not give to children aged younger than 5 years or who weigh less than 15 kg (about 35 lb), or pregnant or lactating women.
  • Antibiotic, if any scratched areas appear to be infected with bacteria.

After treatment, the rash and itching may take up to 4 weeks to go away, as your immune system continues to react to the dead mites. However, new burrows and rashes should stop appearing 48 hours after effective treatment. If you see new burrows or bumps, or if the itch continues for more than 4 weeks, you may need to be treated again. 

Your doctor may also recommend steroid creams or antihistamine pills to relieve the itching. In severe cases, oral steroids may be required to decrease symptoms.

Because it may take up to 6 weeks after exposure to develop symptoms, people may be unaware that they are infested. Therefore, household members, sexual partners, and anyone else with prolonged skin-to-skin contact with an infested person should also be treated. Ideally, everyone should be treated at the same time in order to prevent reinfestation.

Trusted Links

MedlinePlus: ScabiesClinical Information and Differential Diagnosis of Scabies

References

e Control and Prevention. Scabies. http://www.cdc.gov/scabies/index.html. Modified November 10, 2008. Accessed March 11, 2009.

Bolognia, Jean L., ed. Dermatology, pp.1321-1324. New York: Mosby, 2003.

Freedberg, Irwin M., ed. Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology in General Medicine. 6th ed. pp.1374, 1394, 2283-2284. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003.

How to Identify Scabies (With Pictures)

Medical Review By: Ted Schiff, MD

 

If your skin has red bumps that are mighty itchy, the cause could be a mite. Here’s what to know about the contagious infestation known as scabies and how to recognize it so you or your child can get treated before the itching becomes unbearable.

What is scabies?

Scabies is a skin condition caused by an infestation of microscopic eight-legged mites called Scarcoptes scabiei. The mites cause extreme itching and a rash. Symptoms develop after pregnant female mites burrow into the skin and lay eggs. When the eggs hatch, the young mites return to the surface of the skin via the burrows created by the females. Without treatment, the cycle repeats itself as the young mites mate and tunnel under the skin to lay their eggs.

What does scabies look like?

The scabies rash takes the form of small, red bumps that may look like pimples, bug bites, hives or knots under the skin. You might be able to see the burrow tracks created by the mites, which appear as raised lines of tiny blisters or bumps. Some people develop scaly patches that resemble eczema.

Because the rash is so itchy, sores may result from constant scratching and can become infected. Itching is worse at night and can interfere with sleep.

A less common and more severe type of scabies called crusted or Norwegian scabies happens when an exceptionally large number of mites invades the skin. There may be hundreds or thousands of mites compared with only 10 or 20 in typical scabies. People with crusted scabies develop thick crusts of skin that contain mites and eggs. They may or may not experience itching and a rash.

Once someone has been exposed to scabies, symptoms develop four to eight weeks later. (In someone who’s had scabies before, symptoms may develop in just a few days.) It’s possible to spread scabies to others during the pre-symptomatic stage as well as the symptomatic stage.

Adults who contract scabies tend to develop the rash in certain areas of the body, which include:

  • Armpits
  • Between the fingers
  • Inner elbows
  • Sides of the wrists
  • Waist
  • Around a nipple
  • Knees
  • Buttocks
  • Male genitals
  • Soles of the feet
  • Areas covered by jewelry like bracelets, watches and rings

Infants and very young children are more likely to get scabies on the:

  • Head
  • Face
  • Neck
  • Palms
  • Soles of the feet

How do you get scabies?

Scabies is transmitted by prolonged skin-to-skin contact with someone who has it. A quick hug or handshake is unlikely to spread scabies; you’re more likely to get it from a member of your household or through sexual activity. You can also contract scabies by touching personal items that someone with scabies has used, such as towels, furniture, bedding and clothing, though this mode of transmission is less common. You cannot get scabies from an animal that has mites.

Who gets scabies?

Scabies has nothing to do with poor personal hygiene or dirty surroundings. In truth, anyone can get it. People who are more vulnerable to contracting scabies include:

  • Children
  • Mothers of young children
  • Sexually active young adults
  • People who live in group settings, such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities and extended care facilities
  • Elderly people
  • People with a weakened immune system
  • People who have received an organ transplant

Crusted (Norwegian) scabies primarily affects elderly people and those with a weakened immune system, disability or neurological condition. It’s more contagious than typical scabies because it spreads via person-to-person contact and also through the shedding of the skin crusts. When crusts fall off, the mites inside can survive for up to a week, which gives them time to find another host.

Scabies treatment

If you suspect you might have scabies, see a dermatologist promptly. He or she will check for signs of mites and may take a skin scraping from the area and look for mites and their eggs under a microscope.

Scabies is treated with prescription medications called scabicides, which kill the mites. Permethrin 5% is the most commonly prescribed scabicide. While these medications kill mites quickly, the itching may last for several weeks. Skin usually heals within four weeks.

Treating crusted scabies is more challenging, and treatment may last for several weeks or longer if necessary. People with crusted scabies may be prescribed both a scabicide and another mite killer called benzyl benzoate, along with a keratolytic cream, which helps reduce crusting of the skin and allows for better absorption of permethrin or benzyl benzoate.

Some scabies patients may be prescribed additional medications such as an antibiotic (if an infection is present) and medications to help control itching, such as a steroid cream and antihistamine.

Because scabies is highly contagious, your dermatologist may recommend that members of your household and your sexual partner(s) be treated for scabies as well. You’ll also need to do a thorough cleaning of your home, including vacuuming floors, rugs and all upholstered furniture. (Discard the vacuum bag afterward.) Items such as towels, sheets, blankets and clothing should be washed in hot water and dried on high heat or dry-cleaned. Another option is to seal the items in a plastic bag for at least 72 hours, since mites that aren’t in skin crusts die within a few days without a host.

The good news is there’s no need to use insecticides or fumigants to get rid of mites — in fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t recommend them — so you don’t have to expose your family to these chemicals or endure their odor to make your home safe again. And, since the scabies mite can’t survive on animals, there’s no need to treat your pet.

 

Article Written By: Jessica Brown is a health and science writer/editor based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has appeared in Prevention, Johnson & Johnson, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and many more.

 

*Wikimedia Commons photo licenses:

Thorax scabies: Fhgd/Wikimedia Commons
Hand scabies: Fhgd/Wikimedia Commons

 

Do Dust Mites Bite? Pictures on Human, Allergy, Signs & Get Rid & Prevent

The truth is that dust mites do not bite but rather cause an allergic reaction when they come into contact with your skin. They neither have teeth nor a tongue. They break down their food using digestive enzymes.

Let’s find out more the bite pictures on human skin and face, allergic reaction, symptoms, how to get rid and prevent the mites from biting you.

dust mite picture

Dust Mite Bites Pictures on Human & Rash

Following are pictures of how the “bites” look like. In the actual sense, these are not bites reactions on the skin.

Bites from allergic reactionsRash on faceDust mite bites photo

What do Dust Mite Bites Look Like?

When you hear of dust mite bites, you should simply think of the allergy caused by the dust mites.

In most cases, the allergic reaction of your skin to dust mites is characterized by red itchy bumps that may be spread over a certain area of your skin.

If you suddenly feel an itch on your skin and then looking at it you find that your skin has turned red and you cannot spot any creature on your skin, it is likely that your skin is reacting to dust mites.

The way dust mite bites look like is similar to bites from many other creatures such as bed bugs.

To differentiate the bed bug bites from dust mite bites, you will need to keenly read the differences discussed later in this article.

Allergic Reaction to Dust Mite Bites

A good portion of the dust in your home is composed of dust mite feces and decomposing dust mite bodies. Quite many individuals who believe they’re allergic to dust really have an allergy to this protein-rich dust, which often triggers symptoms of asthma and hay fever.

However, it has been established that when a person has an allergy to dust mites, they are usually also allergic to other allergens. 

Symptoms

Symptoms of dust mite bites are similar to those of allergy and asthma. That makes it easy to tell if the rashes on your skin are due to dust mite bites.

When attempting to find out whether you have dust mite bites, you should not only focus on your skin but on other symptoms as well. They include the following;

  • Skin rash with red blotches
  • Irritation on your skin
  • Broken skin
  • Sneezing and a runny nose
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swollen lips and tongue
  • Intermittent cough
  • Itchy and red or watery eyes
  • Stomach pain, nausea, vomiting

When you suspect that you have dust mite bites or allergy reaction, do not look for all the symptoms since you may only have a few. This will depend on the severity of the allergic reaction and it varies from one person to another.

How to Deal with Dust Mite Bites

The first and safest step to ensure that you’re getting the best treatment for any insect bite or reaction is visiting a medical professional. They will do a check up and determine the most appropriate procedure to deal with problem.

According to health practitioners, antihistamines work well for this allergy reactions. Antihistamines reduce the chemical released by your body when you come into contact with dust mites. The reduction of the chemical release prevents the occurrence of an allergic reaction.

They not only stop any itching on the skin, mouth or nose; but they also stop any sneezing or runny nose. The antihistamines prescribed in most cases are Clarinex tablets and Allegra tablets.

Just like other allergies caused by other types of mites, you can use the following natural remedies that are thought get rid of the bites. The most common is the use of essential oils including;

Tea tree oil

Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, tea tree oil has been found to be very effective in reducing the inflammation and itching which is caused by dust mite allergy.

Once you have confirmed that you have dust mite bites (or allergy), add a few drops of tea tree oil to a natural lotion, oil or moisturizer, or even natural butter then apply it on your skin until the inflammation and itching goes away.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil has both antibacterial properties and a soothing effect. When your skin reacts to dust mites, you may be very uncomfortable with the itching.

When you scratch your skin, you are likely to expose it to many other infections.

Coconut oil comes in handy to soothe your skin of the itchiness as well as prevent the possibility of further infections.

You are advised to use virgin coconut oil for the highest level of effectiveness. You are required to apply this oil on the affected skin every morning and evening until the itch is gone and your skin no longer feels uncomfortable.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera constitutes of enzymes, minerals and vitamins all of which give your skin better health.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties which help reduce the itching and swelling on your skin following dust mite allergy.

To acquire the best of aloe vera, you should use pure aloe vera gel. Apply it on the part of your skin that has reacted with dust mites two to three times daily.

This will keep your skin hydrated and prevent any further itch. You are advised to mix aloe vera gel with other oils such as tea tree oil for better results.

Lavender oil

Lavender oil is used to treat very many allergies. It is considered one of the best options for skin allergies since it has healing and soothing effects and it therefore relieves you of the skin irritation caused by dust mites. You can apply a few drops of the oil on the affected skin or add the oil to lotion or baths.

Chamomile

This oil has anti-inflammatory properties which have been tested and found to be effective in reducing the inflammation and itch which is caused by dust mite.

You are advised to mix this oil with carrier oil and then apply it on the affected skin.

Where dust mite bites result to other symptoms that are not just skin irritation, a rash or other hives, you can still use the above essential oils but now, not topically. There are two main ways you can use the essential oils to treat other symptoms such as respiratory problems.

Firstly, you can inhale the essential oils directly. You can put a few drops of the oil on your handkerchief then breathe it in.

Alternatively, you can breathe in the essential oil when it is in its storage bottle.

Secondly, you can use the essential oils by diffusion. Here, you add the oil to an oil burner or plug-in-diffuser.

Prevention

Following are some ideas to prevent the mites in your home

Further Reading: How to Kill & get rid of Dust Mites Naturally, with Chemicals + more Remedies

Further Reading

Sources

  1.  https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320225.php
  2. http://www.slumberslumber.com/sleep-clinic/bed-bugs/bed-bugs-and-dust-mites/
  3. https://bedbugtreatmentsite.com/dust-mite-bites-bed-bug-bites/

Residents Abuzz Over Mysterious Bug Bites Possibly Tied to Cicadas

Mysterious bug bites (courtesy photo)

Arlington residents say they are being plagued by mysterious bug bites featuring unusual red splotches that are itchier than those left by typical summer suckers.

A Facebook group, “Arlington Neighbors Helping Each Other Through COVID-19,” has helped community members with similar bites find each other, share information and try to get to the bottom of the mystery. There’s been similar chatter on local email listservs.

“I was so grateful to see that I wasn’t the only one experiencing this issue — and apparently many, many others feel the same way,” resident Becca Collins tells ARLnow.

The Facebook thread started on Sunday, when the original poster asked the group, “Anyone else finding that they’re getting bit by something while outdoors that is leaving a lingering mark?” She added that “this has happened to us multiple times in the last 10 days. The bite seems a lot different from your typical mosquito bite, leaving a red patch around the bite that’s been lasting for over a week (as well as the intense itchiness despite Benadryl, etc).”

The post has since received at least 160 responses and been shared eight times. A respondent said she went to an urgent care  clinic “after a sleepless night due to the itching/burning bug bite on my neck, that swelled up into a small patch… It also had red itchy streaks reaching up to my lymph node that became swollen and painful.”

Another reported a similar story.

“Had my daughter at urgent care yesterday,” the poster wrote. “Her two bites look EXACTLY like everyone’s photos here. The doctor at urgent care said they’re seeing a lot of these bug bites.”

Receptionists at three local urgent care centers confirmed they’ve seen an influx in patients with bug bites.

“It is up this summer, more than usual,” said one receptionist for All Care Family Medicine & Urgent Care.

Another for Urgent Care Center of Arlington said “we don’t really know what type of bites they are. Patients come in for a bug bite, but they’re not sure if it’s a tick, mosquito or spider bite.”

Collins said hers was different from a tick bite, which is ringed by a clearly defined red circle. Hers and “many of these welts have ‘trailing red tails’ coming from them,” she said.

The Facebook group members have hatched a theory that these bites are tied to oak itch mites, or pyemotes, which are thought to feed on cicadas eggs. Similar outbreaks of itchy bug bites have coincided with periodic cicada cycles in Chicago and Northern Ohio.

“They are the gift that keeps on giving,” one resident tells ARLnow of the Brood X cicadas that swarmed the D.C. area. The cicadas may also be linked to a wave of dead birds this spring and summer.

These mites feed on insect larvae that inhabit oak trees, according to previous news reports and academic papers. And this year, with thousands upon thousands of eggs laid by cicadas, there was a veritable feast for the mites.

“Until I saw the post, I thought I was getting eaten by spiders in my sleep and was going to take some serious mitigation steps, but if the mite theory is correct, that saves me A LOT of work and worry,” one tipster told ARLnow.

Kurt Larrick, the assistant director of the county’s Department of Human Services, confirmed that residents are reporting these strange bites to the county. But county staff cannot say anything definitive yet about the phenomenon.

“We are tracking reports and consulting with internal and external subject matter experts,” he said. “However, there is no clear cut answer at this point.”

He encouraged residents to take preventative measures for mosquitoes and ticks, which he said are effective for other “nuisance and disease-carrying bugs” as well:

  • Use an effective repellent, such as DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus
  • Ensure door and window screens are intact
  • Be more vigilant at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active
  • Wear long sleeves, pants and socks while outdoors when possible
  • Drain all sources of standing water to prevent mosquitoes from breeding

Ticks spread diseases like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and ehrlichiosis, Larrick noted. In addition to dressing appropriately and using insect repellants registered by the Environmental Protection Agency, he recommended that residents avoid possible tick habitats, do regular tick checks, and talk to veterinarians about tick control for pets.

As for those with strange bites, Larrick recommended seeking the advice of a medical professional, even though they may be busy with patients reporting other itchy bumps.

“If, despite prevention, you are bitten and have concerns, we encourage you to see your healthcare provider,” he said.

Oak Mite Bug Leaving Gross Bites on DC People

Bad news, Washington! There’s another new, invasive critter making people crazy, and this one might be even grosser than the cicadas.

City and suburban Facebook groups and Nextdoor are, um, crawling with photos of the mass destruction the mysterious creatures are inflicting on their juicy flesh, as posters to the forums desperately try to crowdsource the culprit.

“Omg I have another one under my chin and it’s hot and swollen and making me look like I have a huge double chin. Lovely,” one user wrote.

“Omg I had this. In my shirt (under my bleeping bra band). I felt it fly in and get trapped,” another shared.

The bites look like extra-super painful pimples:

Photograph courtesy of United States Department of Agriculture

And people are extra-super miserable about the bugs going to town on their extremities like they’re at an Olive Garden buffet.

“The itch intensity is worse than poison ivy – enough to keep me up at night.”

“I have SEVEN of these and they are making me CRAZY. I didn’t notice any bugs around.”

“I’ve got two on my back near my shoulders. Intense itching for days. Misery loves company. Sorry you all are it.”

The working theory: It’s the latest episode in our Brood X saga. No, the noisy buggers themselves are not back, but the billions—billions!—of juveniles they left behind apparently make perfect food for oak leaf itch mites.

That’s this guy:

Photograph courtesy of United States Department of Agriculture

If you’re under or near oak trees, which are among the most common trees in DC, the mites can fall on you. And you won’t even know it. 

“I want to let people know they’re not crazy,” Gene Kritsky, the dean of behavioral and natural sciences at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, told the Washington Post. “It’s a phenomenon related to cicadas being there, and it will dissipate. And eventually you won’t have it next year, because the cicadas will not be emerging.”

The bugs are 0.2 millimeters—or 1/125 of an inch—big. Super small. You can’t possibly be on the lookout for them, nor will you know you were bitten until at least 10 hours later, according to observational information from when the cicadas last emerged in the early 2000s.

I regret to tell you that previous research also says these invisible slayers hang around through late fall.

On a brighter note, the online forums do have some unofficial treatment advice: Benadryl, Cortisone, warm compresses, and even keeping a scented dryer sheet on as an insect repellent when you’re outside are things that have helped others.

So, in summary, just one more wretched thing to be aware of this summer. Wasn’t 2021 supposed to be better?

Those are oak mite eggs on an oak leaf. Photograph courtesy of Illinois Department of Health.

Oak Mites invade areas with cicadas

If you have ever woken up with an itchy, red bite mark, the culprit might be the Oak Mite.

Many fear it could be a disease carrying mosquito or sleep-invading bed bugs. But from time-to-time, the oak mites become an accidental predator.

This summer the small welt-causing, itch-inducing, predator is proliferating across Ohio. 

The oak mites, which come from the Pyemotes genus, prefer to feed on insects but occasionally fall on humans, according to the Los Angeles Times. The outbreaks became documented in Europe in 1936, but have occasionally made an impact primarily on towns and cities in the Midwest, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. 

Though rare, Kansas, Ohio, Oklahoma and Nebraska are some of the states that have been hit by outbreaks. This summer, an outbreak is hitting Northern Ohio. 

The Oak Mite is a nearly microscopic bug that lives in Oak trees. (BELOW)

These small biters drop down out of Oak trees when you are walking under them by the hundreds or even thousands. And since you can’t see them, you don’t even know you’ve got them on you. Until, that red bite mark appears!

Oak Mites have always been around. They are found in most states as well. They just generally don’t bite people. But this year there are lots more of them in Northern Ohio. 

For that you can blame the 17-year Cicada that hatched in June. You see, Oak Mites feed on insect larvae that inhabit Oak trees. Cicadas prefer oak trees in which to lay their thousands of eggs. And this year, that meant millions of the periodic cicadas and their newly hatched young served up on a dinner plate for the hungry mites.

Lots more food for Oak Mites translates into lots more oak mites.

So, should you worry? Oak Mites don’t spread disease like other insects. But the welts they leave behind are red, can be painful and itchy and sometimes pussy. They are easily treated with topical creams and itch relievers. The only time to seek medical care is if a bite becomes infected.

Oak Mites usually fall from the trees in waves. You can keep windows closed to prevent them from floating in thru your screens from August through October. If you have oak trees in your yard or spend time in an oak forest, keep you skin covered or wash up with soapy water as soon as you come indoors. DEET, or other repellent sprays are often not effective.

Throw those clothes you wore outside into the laundry right away. And the good news, you don’t have to fumigate the house or throw your mattress away. Oak mites can’t survive without those other delicious bug larvae that they feed on. So they won’t live in your home for very long.

Washington DC is suffering an itch mite infestation

Washington DC continues to make people’s skin crawl.

Just when they thought they were safe from the swarm of cicadas, residents have been experiencing mysterious bug bites leaving distinctively itchy welts all over their skin.

The search for whodunnit went viral after people began posting images of the bites on the Facebook group Arlington Neighbors Helping Each Other Through Covid-19 around 25 July.

Arlington County’s Department of Human Services’ assistant director Kurt Larrick told The Independent they have a prime suspect – pyemotes, a type of oak leaf itch mite – but that they’re still monitoring and investigating.

“Tough to find a definitive cause with bites you don’t notice and the bug is long gone (eg, not attached like a mature tick),” he said.

The microscopic mites feed on the cicada eggs, which were left behind in their billions after Washington was recently overrun by the screeching insects.

Since bugs began chomping on people, especially if they’ve been sitting beneath oak trees, the Facebook group has been inundated with people looking for relief.

“Has anyone found any relief that works from these oak mite bites?” wrote one member of the group. “I am being tortured by the itch and Benadryl isn’t cutting it. I don’t want to scratch and risk infection. I have bites all over my neck, collarbone and breast area. Not sure how it even happen.”

One facebook user recommended tree oil to reduce itching, while another advocated haemorrhoid cream with lidocaine.

There have been hot spoons, hairdryers, and fresh aloe proposed, while one Facebook user recommend a healthy dose of vodka, though doesn’t clarify if it should be administered topically or internally.

Mr Larrick said people should consult their health care provider for any concerning skin irritation, but that there were some quick fixes to ease the pain.

“Our continuing advice is prevention – FDA registered repellant and proper dress, and treatment for itchiness – Benadryl and hydrocortisone,” Mr Larrick said.

Gene Kritsky, dean of behavioural and natural sciences at Mount St Joseph University, told The Washington Post the mites infestation would eventually end once they were done with the eggs laid during the surge of Brood X cicadas this summer.

“I want to let people know they’re not crazy,” Kritsky said. “It’s a phenomenon related to cicadas being there, and it will dissipate. And eventually, you won’t have it next year, because the cicadas will not be emerging.”

90,000 Symptoms of a tick bite in humans

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Ticks are insects that carry dangerous diseases. Their body does not exceed 5 mm in size, so it is almost impossible to notice them on clothes before being bitten. They feed on the blood of people, animals. They live in the grass, on low bushes. Find a victim through the sense of smell and touch. You can meet ticks not only on vacation in the forest, but also in the city.

photo of a tick bite

Signs and symptoms of a tick bite in humans.What tick bites look like.

Tick bites are absolutely painless. Together with saliva, they inject an anesthetic substance into the blood. It is not so easy to notice an insect attack. They are able to remain invisible for a long time.

The first symptoms of a tick bite appear several hours after the attack. The time of their development depends on the susceptibility of the organism, the characteristics of the immune system. The most common symptoms are:

  • appearance of weakness;
  • sleepy state;
  • loss of strength;
  • eye reaction to light;
  • pain in joints, muscles.

If the symptoms are ignored, an allergic reaction begins to develop, the body temperature rises. In rare cases, there is a rapid heartbeat, a decrease in blood pressure, an increase in lymph nodes. What a tick bite looks like can be seen in the photo.

Temperature rise begins in 2-4 days and lasts up to 3 days. The most susceptible to bites are the elderly and children, people with allergies, immunodeficiency, and chronic diseases.

The mark from a tick bite may turn red, slightly swell, and crust over. Attack manifestations should not be ignored. If symptoms are found, the body should be examined immediately for the presence of the insect.

Consequences of a bite

Ticks are very dangerous insects. They carry many infections, including:

  • encephalitis;
  • Lyme disease;
  • spotted fever;
  • Omsk hemorrhagic fever;
  • Crimean hemorrhagic fever;
  • ehrlichiosis;
  • tularemia;
  • babesiosis.

The list of infections carried by ticks is huge and includes more than 60 pathologies. Many diseases can lead to severe disability, paralysis and even death. It is especially dangerous when a person does not notice a tick on the body for a long time, increasing the risk of developing a more severe form of the disease.

If the parasite turns out to be “clean”, the effects of the bite can provoke an allergic reaction of varying severity.

What to do if bitten by a tick?

If you notice a tick on the body, you must immediately remove it and seek medical help.You can remove the parasite in the following ways:

  • Twisting – Grip the tick gently with your fingers. Unscrew it slowly counterclockwise;
  • thread use – make a loop from the thread. Throw it over the tick, tighten, but not too tight. Pull up perpendicular to the skin;
  • Using tweezers – grab an insect with tweezers. Pull it slowly around the axis;
  • Medical Syringe – Cut off the needle location. Lean the resulting “vacuum pump” against your skin.Pump air slowly. Under pressure, the insect is released from the body;
  • Using the tick extractor – available from specialized stores. The structure resembles tweezers. Provides a comfortable, snug grip.

If you cannot remove the tick yourself, seek professional medical attention. After that, it is necessary to hand over the parasite for analysis.

Antibiotics for tick bite

After a tick bite, antibiotics should be taken in the first 72 hours.This is done to prevent infectious diseases. In the first three days, you can also take antivirals. Dosage, the drug is prescribed by a doctor.

Cefpodoxime, Doxycycline, Amoxicillin are most often prescribed. You must strictly follow the instructions, follow the prescribed dosage.

Tick-borne encephalitis. Treatment

Encephalitis is one of the most dangerous diseases transmitted by ticks. Leads to damage to the nervous system, a feverish state. If symptoms are ignored, as well as severe course, it can lead to paralysis, disability, death.

Treatment of tick-borne encephalitis includes intramuscular administration of immunoglobulin in various dosages, as well as taking special medications. During recovery (in the acute period), any physical activity, exercise therapy, massive electrical procedures are excluded.

Borreliosis. Treatment

Borreliosis or Lyme disease is an infectious disease that leads to serious disorders of the nervous system. Treatment includes etiotropic and pathogenetic therapy. It is carried out under the constant supervision of doctors.

At the initial stage (in milder forms of the disease), antibiotics from the tetracyclines group are taken. Selection of drugs, dosage depends on the degree of the disease, the presence of an allergic reaction, etc.

First aid for bite

If a tick is found on the body, it is necessary to provide the victim with first aid:

  • If you are near a hospital, get help. Professionals will be able to painlessly and correctly remove the tick, preventing damage to it;
  • If you are in the forest, outside the city and do not have the opportunity to go to a medical institution, remove the tick yourself.Make sure that the head does not remain in the body, otherwise the wound will fester;
  • Place the tick in the jar and close the lid. Within 2 days, it must be submitted for analysis to a laboratory to determine its degree of danger;
  • treat the tick bite with hydrogen peroxide, brilliant green or any antibacterial compound available at the moment;
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible.

When removing a tick it is important to remember:

  • Do not squeeze the parasite too hard to crush it.If the abdomen of an insect is damaged, hazardous substances can get into the wound, provoking infection;
  • Do not try to burn the tick – the body may burst during heating. With a spray, viruses can get on the mucous membranes;
  • If possible, try not to remove the tick with your fingers – there is a high probability that you will crush the insect.

It is important to provide first aid in the first hours after the bite. Once removed, antiviral drugs or antibiotics can be taken to prevent contracting infectious diseases.The dosage must be selected individually and strictly follow the instructions.

Where to go if you are bitten by a tick?

After the tick is found and removed, you need to seek help from a medical organization or the nearest medical center. You can also remove the parasite there, if you didn’t manage to do it yourself.

Doctors will give you recommendations and, if necessary, refer you to immunotherapy. You should first donate blood for the detection of antibodies.Compliance with all the instructions will help prevent infection, as well as start treatment on time, preventing a severe course of the disease.

It is mandatory to take the insect to the laboratory to determine its type and degree of danger. This should be done in the first 2 days after the bite. The parasite must be alive. The research is carried out quickly. Within a few days you will be able to get the result.

Upon receipt of a positive test (infected tick), urgent medical attention should be sought.The earlier you start treatment, the more likely a positive outcome is.

Prevention of tick bites

In order to avoid a tick bite, you must adhere to the safety rules:

  • When going outdoors, use deterrent sprays. You can buy them at any specialized store, pharmacy;
  • Choose clothes with a smooth texture – the tick will not be able to catch on to it;
  • Clothing should cover all parts of the body – long sleeves, pants.Socks, high boots, headwear, etc .;
  • Examine yourself and children for ticks during outdoor activities;
  • Do not rest in areas with a lot of vegetation, in tall grass, near bushes.

In addition, vaccination is recommended to reduce the risk of infection after being bitten. Do not neglect the services of insurance companies, as well as professional help from the SES for processing the local area, suburban area.

Vaccination

Vaccination against ticks is carried out in several stages.The course consists of three vaccinations. The first vaccine is given before the start of the season. After 1-3 months – 2 vaccines. After 12 months, 3 vaccinations must be given.

The vaccine allows to develop stable immunity to tick-borne encephalitis in children and adults. Two weeks after the second vaccination, antibodies begin to be produced in the body. The name and type of vaccination does not affect the timing and speed of the process.

The third vaccination is necessary in order to develop a stable immunity for several years.Violation of the timing can negatively affect the result, reducing the effectiveness of activities.

Health insurance

Tick bite insurance allows you to minimize the cost of treatment in case of infection. You can get insured in any company offering this service. In case of need for emergency treatment, the usual compulsory medical insurance policy will not be able to provide the opportunity to receive free medicines. The drugs used are not included in the list of mandatory for a medical institution, and therefore are not provided to citizens free of charge.

Protective clothing, means

To ensure the safety of walking, it is important to choose the right clothes and adhere to unspoken rules:

  • All parts of the body must be covered;
  • for legs it is preferable to use high rubber boots. Give up sneakers, sandals;
  • the head must be covered – caps, kerchiefs, scarves, etc.;
  • Tuck all layers of clothing – pants into socks, a jacket into pants, etc.;
  • Do not use clothes with a lot of buttons – the pincers can easily get in through the holes.The ideal option is lightning;
  • Clothing should be of light shades – it is easier to detect the parasite on such fabrics;
  • The material must be dense so that the tick cannot penetrate through holes, holes.

In addition to properly fitting clothing, protective sprays should be used. The funds are issued in different volumes. Can be used for children and adults. It is important to follow the rules of caution when applying. Spray the composition directly onto clothing a few hours before walking.

Professional processing of the territory

One of the most reliable ways to protect yourself and your loved ones from ticks is to contact a professional service. SES will process the adjacent territory, garden plot, and provide guarantees.

Acaricidal treatment is carried out using safe certified products. You can use the territory a few hours after the visit of the SES.

90,000 signs, what it looks like, how to process

It’s another matter when a tick transmits a particular virus to a person.There are many diseases they endure, but let’s dwell on the main ones:

Tick-borne encephalitis . It is an infectious viral disease that usually affects the central nervous system.

The incubation (latent) period of encephalitis lasts up to two weeks, but can extend to two months. The disease always begins acutely. The first symptoms of encephalitis: chills, headache, a sharp rise in temperature up to 39 degrees, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain.

Among the possible consequences of this ailment are neurological and psychiatric complications, paralysis and even death.

Borreliosis, or Lyme disease. Another infectious disease that affects the nervous system, heart and joints. The incubation period is usually 1–2 weeks, but can be shorter or longer. The first symptoms of the disease, like encephalitis, resemble the flu: headache, muscle pain, fever. Lyme disease is characterized by stiff neck muscles. Further – worse, sleep and memory disorders, meningitis, paralysis of the facial nerve, arthritis may begin.

If you do not treat borreliosis, you can become disabled, or even die altogether.And if you start to treat on time, then the prognosis is very favorable.

Ehrlichiosis is a bacterial infection that causes renal and respiratory failure.

Symptoms of infection are noticeable 1-3 weeks after the tick bite. Ehrlichiosis is characterized by headache, fever and chills, abdominal pain. If left untreated, the abdominal organs and nervous system will suffer. In severe cases, death is possible.

Anaplasmosis is a blood disease.It develops 3-21 days after the tick bite. The disease is characterized by an acute onset – severe fever, weakness, headache and muscle pain. In addition, blood pressure drops and heart rate drops.

Typhus is a disease that causes a rash on the skin and affects the lymph nodes.

Tularemia is a bacterial disease that affects internal organs.

Attention, pliers. What are the dangers of ticks?

How beautiful it is when nature awakens, the first leaves bloom, the first flowers bloom, wild garlic and wild strawberries appear.And it is so wonderful to walk through the forest, enjoying the fresh air, warm sunshine, pick the first greens of fragrant wild garlic or fragrant strawberries – fresh vitamins. But with the awakening of nature, ticks awaken and also go for walks to get enough fresh blood.

Who are ticks?

We know from school that ticks are small arthropod arachnids belonging to the animal kingdom. There are more than 48 thousand species of ticks on Earth.Some of them live in the forest and in the taiga, suck the blood of small rodents and animals – hares, mice, and other inhabitants of forests and taiga. They are not averse to drinking blood from a person, and as soon as the summer season begins, summer residents and their pets, lovers of forest walks, tourists and people who go on a picnic become victims of ticks.

Other types of mites live in the soil in our gardens and vegetable gardens. They do great harm by sucking the juices from plants, ruining crops, for example, a spider mite, which also harms indoor plants.

There are also dust or bed mites that inhabit our homes. They live in sofas, carpets, pillows and blankets. They are very small in size, it is impossible to notice them, but they bring great harm, causing itching and red spots on the skin, as well as allergic reactions.

There are also mites – meadow, steppe, dog, scabies, eye, ear and others. But today we will turn our attention to ixodid ticks, typical carriers of encephalitis and borreliosis (and other equally dangerous diseases) – this is a taiga tick (also called a deer tick) and a European tick (popular name is encephalitis ticks).

Where do encephalitis ticks live?

Ticks live in forests and taiga. They live under a layer of fallen leaves and grass and attack their victims, crawling from bushes, leaves, grass, and also from the ground. But from trees, as many believe, ticks do not jump off.
As soon as the sun begins to warm up and the ground is freed from the snow cover, the ticks go hunting. They attach with their tenacious limbs to the leaves of plants, move closer to the paths along which a person moves, and wait for their prey.Ticks have a well-developed sense of smell, and they smell fresh blood. But ticks cannot see, since they have no eyes. But they are able to distinguish between day and night. Once on a person or animal, ticks look for a suitable place on the body to suck on.

Ticks are especially active and aggressive in early spring, after a hungry winter they need food. So you can pick up a taiga tick from April to June, and even in July, and the European tick is ferocious from April to September.

What do ticks look like?

The body of the tick consists of two sections – the body and the head. On the back there is a solid shield, and in the male it is brown and covers the entire back, and in the female only a third of the back is covered with a shield. The rest of the back is reddish brown.

Ticks have four pairs of limbs, which consist of six segments. At the ends of these segments there are claws with a sucker. With the help of suckers and claws, the tick clings to plants, to human clothing, to animal hair.The ticks have respiratory plates behind the fourth pair of legs.

On the head of the tick there is a proboscis, which has a complex structure and is adapted for sucking and holding on the victim’s body. There is a mouth on the proboscis, with which the tick bites through the body and sucks blood. Tick ​​saliva has an analgesic effect and a person does not feel the tick’s suction. The virus of encephalitis and other diseases enters the blood of a person with the saliva of a tick when the tick sucks blood. The tick itself does not get sick with encephalitis.

The female is larger than the male. It is believed that only females stick to the body and can suck blood for up to several days. The female’s body grows when she gets drunk with blood, becomes ovoid and turns gray. Males only bite a person and are not able to suck blood for a long time.

What diseases does the tick carry?

The number of people bitten by ticks increases every year. It is increasingly possible to pick up a tick not only in the forest, but also in summer cottages, in city parks and squares.Summer residents take them on their clothes in electric trains, in buses, in bouquets of flowers, with the harvest. From the clothes of people who visited the forests, ticks crawl onto passengers of city transport, and the person is horrified to find a bloodsucker who has sucked on his skin.

Of the diseases carried by ticks, tick-borne encephalitis, hemorrhagic fever and Lyme disease or borreliosis are the best known.

Symptoms of tick-borne encephalitis

Tick-borne encephalitis is transmitted by the bite of an encephalitis tick.Encephalitis is a dangerous viral disease that affects the central nervous system and the brain, and can lead to disability and even death.

The following forms of encephalitis are distinguished: febrile, meningeal, meningoencephalitic, poliomyelitic.

The first symptoms of the disease appear within 1-2 weeks after tick sucking, the disease begins with a sharp increase in body temperature to 39-40 degrees. The high temperature persists for several days.At the first stage of the disease, the virus multiplies in the blood and intoxication of the body.

All forms of the disease begin with a rise in body temperature to 38-40 degrees, are marked by fever, general malaise, headaches in the forehead, temples, occiput, lethargy, weakness, lack of appetite, nausea.

In severe cases, the cells of the brain and spinal cord are affected. A person has problems with the psyche, vision and hearing, there is a violation of consciousness, numbness of the hands, convulsions, paralysis.The last two forms of tick-borne encephalitis lead to disability and death.

With a febrile form, headaches, nausea, weakness are noted, the temperature lasts for several days, then the fever stops and the person recovers.

With the meningeal form of encephalitis, a person also has severe headaches, dizziness, photophobia and pain in the eyes, nausea and vomiting, lethargy. The fever lasts one to two weeks.

In the meningoencephalitic form, hallucinations, loss of orientation in time and space are added to the symptoms characteristic of the meningeal form.A sick person may experience seizures of epilepsy, convulsions, loss of consciousness is possible.

In the polio form, fatigue and severe weakness and pain in the neck, shoulders and arms, decreased skin sensitivity, twitching of the arm muscles, drooping of the head to the chest, numbness in the tissues of the arms and legs, and muscle atrophy and paralysis of the limbs are noted.

You can become infected with encephalitis not only from a tick bite, but also by crushing a tick with your fingers. The danger of catching an infection is the raw milk of domestic goats, sheep, cows infected with a tick bite.Boiled milk is not dangerous.

You can watch a video about the consequences of a tick bite.

Borreliosis or Lyme disease

Borreliosis is an infectious disease that, like encephalitis, is transmitted to humans through a tick bite. Lyme disease has an early stage (two stages) and a late stage (third stage).

Symptoms of borreliosis

The disease begins with fever, chills, headache.The person has fatigue, weakness and muscle aches. Many have a cough, sore throat, runny nose, and some have nausea and vomiting. A red spot appears on the skin where the mite has sucked – a migrating annular erythema that appears on days 6-23. The spot has the shape of a circle or oval and grows to a diameter of 10-20 cm, sometimes it can reach a larger size. The stain persists for 2-3 weeks, there is pain, severe itching. Depending on the treatment, the first stage can last from 3 to 30 days and end with recovery.

Without treatment, after 1-3 months, the causative agent of Borreliosis penetrates with blood into the internal organs, into the human brain. Patients have severe throbbing headaches, dizziness, chest pains, shortness of breath. The cardiovascular system is damaged, heart diseases develop, pains in the heart are noted. The nervous, musculoskeletal systems are damaged. Patients may experience paralysis of the facial nerve, serous meningitis, pain in the spine (cervical, thoracic, lumbar).

At the third stage (it develops from six months to two years), pains in the joints appear (most often in the knee joints), arthritis, polyarthritis, osteoporosis and other diseases develop. Skin lesions often occur.

Lyme disease progresses differently for each person: some have only the first stage, while others start with the second or third stage. But if you do not carry out treatment, then the disease becomes chronic and leads to disability.Borreliosis can also be contracted from unboiled milk from domestic animals.

We offer you to watch a short video clip about Lyme disease.

What to do if bitten by a tick?

What to do if you find a sucked tick on your body? First of all, you need to seek help from an emergency room, where a tick will be removed from your body and there you will be given immunoglobulin for tick-borne encephalitis. If you are insured, it is free, and if you do not have insurance, you will have to pay a tidy sum (the higher your body weight, the more you will have to pay for the vaccine).

How to remove a tick?

If you cannot seek help from a medical facility, you can remove the tick yourself. Pull out the tick carefully so as not to damage it. You can pull it out with tweezers, picking up the tick with tweezers from the proboscis, closer to the skin where the tick has stuck. It is not necessary to pull sharply, the tick must be pulled out gently, swinging to the side and pulling up.

If tweezers are not at hand, you can use strong thread.A loop of thread should be thrown closer to the tick proboscis, tighten and pull the thread up, swinging the tick from side to side.
After the tick is removed, grease the bite site with iodine or alcohol.

The tick should be wrapped in a wet cotton wool or cloth and placed in a bottle with a lid or a box. And take it for examination for the presence of viruses of encephalitis, borreliosis and other diseases to the sanitary and epidemiological station. The next day you need to call the SES and find out the test results. If a tick is infected with tick-borne encephalitis or Lyme disease, this does not mean that you have contracted the infection.The bite of an infected tick does not always cause disease. You will simply be sent for examination to a polyclinic, where a blood test will be done. If viruses are found in your blood, you will be prescribed treatment.

If you do not want to hand over the tick to the SES, it must be destroyed, it is best to burn it. Remember to wash your hands and tweezers well.

If you do not want to seek medical help, monitor your condition carefully, and if you feel unwell or have symptoms of the diseases described above, do not postpone your visit to the clinic.Timely treatment will help you avoid dire complications.

What to do if the tick breaks off during self-extraction? You just need to gently pick it up with tweezers and pull it out. If the head or proboscis of the tick is deep in the wound, and you are afraid to pull it out, you can contact the clinic. Or you can simply lubricate the wound with iodine and after a while, the remnants of the tick parts will be on the surface of the skin along with the abscess and come out like a splinter.

It is believed that a sucked tick can be made to crawl out of the skin by lubricating it with oil.But experts do not advise doing this, since the mite will suffocate from the oil and die, belching the contents of its stomach into the wound, and the infection will quickly penetrate the human body.

Prevention against tick bite

Vaccinations against tick-borne encephalitis

In order not to catch such a dangerous disease as tick-borne encephalitis after a tick bite, vaccinations are provided. The course consists of three vaccinations, immunity from tick-borne encephalitis lasts up to three years.

The right clothes

If you are going to the forest or your summer cottage is adjacent to the forest, you must dress correctly.Clothing should cover your body. Outerwear is tucked into trousers, and trousers are tucked into socks or boots, boots, jacket sleeves, sweaters, shirts – with buttons fastened and tight-fitting cuffs, put a hood or a hat over your head. On light-colored clothing, the tick is more noticeable, so it is advisable to wear light-colored clothing.

Every 15-20 minutes inspect your clothes, your fellow travelers and if you find a tick, remove it, but do not press it with your hands, it is better to burn it with a lighter or a match.After the hike, carefully examine your entire body, pay special attention to the auricles, armpits, groin areas, and neck. Also carefully inspect your clothes and things that you took with you to the forest, to the dacha.

Chemical protection

To prevent tick bites, use chemical agents – creams, aerosols that are sold in stores, in pharmacies – these are repellents (repel ticks), acaricidal agents (kill ticks), as well as insecticidal-repellent agents (repel and kill).

Treat clothes with chemicals – cuffs, collars, belts near trousers, as well as clothes around the ankles, knees, waist, waist, open areas of the body – face, neck, arms.

The suburban area can be treated with special agents that kill ticks.

Be careful walking in the woods, working or relaxing in your summer cottage. Take care of yourself and take care of your health!

Tick bite: symptoms, consequences

The mite is a small arachnid insect that feeds mainly on the blood of animals.Not all types of ticks are dangerous to humans – the greatest danger is forest ticks.

The tick is the main carrier of many infectious diseases. On the territory of our republic, only two of them are registered – tick-borne encephalitis and tick-borne borreliosis, or Lyme disease. Human infection occurs mainly through the blood during a tick bite. But infection is also possible when eating raw goat’s milk.

The insect lives mainly in grass, less often in low bushes.It is usually sedentary and moves very slowly. Usually ticks climb on thin stems of plants and blades of grass and spend most of their life in a similar state, waiting for the approach of their prey, either a human or an animal. The insect’s paws are equipped with special microscopic claws that allow it to securely attach itself to clothing.

Once on the human body, the tick does not immediately dig into the skin. The blood-sucking parasite tries to climb as high as possible, so the main bite sites are often the shoulders, armpits, back and neck.The tick bite is completely painless, since its saliva contains a powerful analgesic substance. Therefore, it is quite difficult to detect an insect that has sunk into the skin. Digging into human skin, the mite sticks to the nearest blood vessel and begins to feed on blood, after which, when it is full, it disappears. The blood-fed tick increases in size and can reach 10 mm in length. But usually it is possible to see the blood-sucking parasite much earlier.

How to detect a tick

To do this, you must carefully examine your body in front of a mirror after visiting potentially dangerous places (forest and park areas).Even if the tick is very small, you will most likely notice a dangerous bump. “Favorite” places of the tick: scalp, ears, armpits, groin, the inner part of the elbows and knees – where the skin is thinner and the vessels are closer.

When you see a tick, do not panic and better not try to remove it from your skin. It is best to seek medical attention right away. Removing the tick is painless and does not require anesthesia. The extracted insect must be sent for research.Not every tick is a carrier of dangerous infectious diseases; laboratory analysis allows you to determine the infection of the tick.

Prevention of diseases with a tick bite

The primary measures for a tick bite are aimed precisely at preventing the development of this disease, since in some cases it leads to disability or death.

Emergency chemoprophylaxis of tick-borne infections is carried out in the first 72 hours after a tick bite as prescribed by a healthcare professional.

Doctor-infectious disease specialist
Berezinskaya Central District Hospital
Vashkevich V.V.

Caution, pliers!

Caution, ticks!

The natural conditions of the Altai Territory are favorable for the formation and functioning of active natural foci of tick-borne encephalitis, more than half of the regions of the region are territories with a high risk of infection with tick-borne encephalitis. Among them are Zarinsky, Talmensky, Pavlovsky, Pervomaisky, Kosikhinsky and others.In these territories, a large number of people with tick sucking and cases of tick-borne encephalitis are annually recorded, and laboratories isolate the virus of this infection from insects.

Experts note that vaccination is the basis of protection against infection. It reduces the risk of infection, protects against complications. A person who has received a full course of vaccinations against tick-borne encephalitis is always protected, since he has developed a vaccine immunity to the disease.

In case of sucking tick within 14 days, you should monitor the state of health. Measure the temperature daily in the morning and in the evening. If the temperature rises or any other signs of illness appear, immediately contact a medical facility.

Doctors warn that immunoglobulin is not recommended for those vaccinated against tick-borne encephalitis. Emergency immunoprophylaxis is indicated for the unvaccinated. Immunoglobulin to persons with tick bites is administered strictly according to indications in the first three days (72 hours).

Anti-tick immunoglobulin is administered to children under 14 free of charge in Barnaul in the trauma center of the children’s polyclinic No. 9, in the districts of the region – in children’s polyclinics at the place of residence. The adult population is served through insurance companies. If you have previously insured against a tick bite, then you should visit the medical institution, the address of which is indicated in the policy. There, on the basis of this policy, you will be injected with immunoglobulin free of charge. If you are not insured, then again it is worth contacting the insurance company.Usually there people pay for the cost of the drug, then they are sent to a medical facility that cooperates with this company. Representatives of insurance companies note that it is possible to receive medical assistance under insurance within 6 days after the day of insurance. You can also buy immunoglobulin from municipal pharmacies and then go to the vaccination office of any hospital.

The May holidays are approaching – the time for picnics and walks in forest areas, outings, experts recommend observing the basic measures for the prevention of tick-borne encephalitis.

Algorithm of actions for a tick bite:

1. Crawling, but not yet sucked tick is removed and destroyed by incineration.

2. If you find a recently sucked tick, you can seek help from a medical institution, if you have the necessary skills, you can remove it yourself. A loop of thread is tied around the tick’s proboscis and with its help, carefully, for several minutes, pull the tick together with the proboscis.

3. If the skin around the proboscis is already inflamed and edema has formed, then before removing, the tick is lubricated with some kind of fat or kerosene, tar, vegetable oil. After 15-20 minutes, the tick is carefully pulled out with a thread loop or tweezers (but not with fingers), swinging from side to side, trying not to squeeze, so as not to squeeze the contents of the tick into the wound.

4. Treat the wound site with 5% iodine solution.

5. The tick can be placed in a damp cloth or cotton swab moistened with water to ensure its viability, then in a test tube.It is better to check the tick for the presence of the virus. This can be done in the laboratory of the FBUZ “Center for Hygiene and Epidemiology in the Altai Territory”.

6. The unvaccinated must go to a medical facility for emergency immunization. Immunoglobulin is administered to persons with tick bites in the first three days (72 hours).

Information on the study of ticks for the virus:

To test a tick for the presence of tick-borne encephalitis virus (within 3 days from the moment of suction), it must be placed in a container closed with dense tissue and brought alive to the virological laboratory of the FBUZ “Center for Hygiene and Epidemiology in the Altai Territory”.If you were unable to keep the tick alive, it is possible to conduct a study of insect fragments for the pathogen of tick-borne borreliosis in the PCR research laboratory. To deliver a tick for research, contact the following address: Barnaul, st. M. Gorky, 28.

Working hours of laboratories:

Virology laboratory: Monday – Thursday from 8.30 to 16.42; Friday from 8.30 to 15.42; weekends and holidays from 8.30 to 16.42, tel .: (3852) 50-40-34

PIR Research Laboratory: Monday – Thursday from 8.30 to 16.42; Friday from 8.30 to 15.42; days off: Saturday, Sunday, holidays, tel .: (3852) 50-40-36

The person on duty from the laboratory of physical and chemical research methods will accept the tick and answer questions by phone: 8 (3852) 50-30-68 on weekdays from 16.42 to 19.00, on Friday from 15.42 to 19.00

Reception of ticks in the laboratory building from 19.00 to 8.30 on weekdays, guard post No. 2 (M. Gorky st., 28, tel .: (3852) 24-32-51), on weekends and holidays from 16.42 to 8.30

You can remove the tick in the trauma centers of the city.If tick-borne encephalitis antigen is detected, the victim should contact a medical institution for the administration of immunoglobulin within 3 days from the date of suction.

Consult with specialists about contraindications

Infectionist – about death and disability from a tick bite

– Now I understand what your argument is with those people who claim that there is chronic Lyme. They just continue to treat the infection.

– They keep treating the infection, yes.But the infection as such is no longer there, there are consequences.

– This is an important point. It just seems to me that in those posts or articles that I have seen, it is not clearly formulated that you, too, acknowledge that people have consequences.

– Well, no, the consequences after any infection can remain …

– Yes, but what is wrong with chronic Lyme as a concept to denote these consequences? People feel bad.

– Firstly, the word “chronic” does not reflect the essence of the process, because the infection itself is gone, there are consequences.Let’s say a child suffered from herpetic encephalitis at the age of one month, which formed a severe organic lesion of the central nervous system with epilepsy. We do not then say that he is a deeply disabled person, that he has chronic herpes. Herpes has been in an inactive phase for a long time.

He developed a gross defect in the nervous system – these are the consequences of the transferred infectious process, but the process itself is over. That is, there is no longer active inflammation.

Secondly, there is an alternative organization ILADS, created by patients and the “loyal” doctors who have joined them, as it is now fashionable to say “integrative direction”.These comrades are trying to link many of the manifestations not associated with Lyme disease with Lyme disease.

– For example?

– Well, these are mainly somatoform disorders, anxiety disorders, a wide range of depressive disorders. When a patient feels bad, vague pains, anxiety, he goes to doctors, conducts numerous studies, but finds nothing terrible.

After all, damage to the nervous system can be not only against the background of borreliosis. There are many problems after other inflammatory manifestations.

There is such a psychological concept – avoidance. For example, patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease deny their diagnosis to the last. Because they find it uncomfortable – it changes their way of life. It is easier for them to look for an intestinal infection to the last, but they need to find an “enemy” and fight with him, for example, as the adherents of “chronic yersiniosis infection” do. They will treat their Yersinia or other bacteria to the last, because, in their understanding, the bacteria are to blame for the symptoms they have.Therefore, they are looking for a doctor who will agree with their perception of the disease. And, unfortunately, there are such doctors.

– This organization, which you named, ILADS, where is it and what is its status in general ?

– It is originally from the United States of America, not created by doctors. But there are doctors who are considered friendly to this organization. It is not recognized by either the World Health Organization or the CDC. That is, it is an alternative club of interests. This is a big “cesspool” in which you need to understand.Because there may be real Lyme patients who have not been treated, and those who cannot come to terms with its consequences, believing that if you continue to be treated with an antibiotic, something will be cured. And there are patients who have no symptoms of borreliosis at all, they have other disorders, but they are more comfortable this way.

– But here, too, a number of doctors recognize chronic Lyme, including, for example, the Research Institute of Rheumatology. There is also a well-known specialist …

– There is a certain specialist at the Institute of Rheumatology who is not an infectious disease specialist.And according to certification requirements, it has no right to treat infectious diseases in principle.

– But at the same time, the Research Institute of Rheumatology is still a status, it is not a private organization.

– We do not have strict requirements for the work of research institutes. For example, in St. Petersburg, at the Mechnikov Northwestern Medical University at the Mycology Research Institute, there is a completely insane doctor of medical sciences, professor, allergist-immunologist. She denies the benefits of vaccinations and treats everyone with dietary supplements and piles of immunomodulators.She is in severe delirium and writes letters to the president that vaccination will destroy the Russian nation, for example. Unfortunately, these characters are everywhere.

– With psychiatry, of course, this is a streamlined story. But if a person really continues to twitch the nerve on the leg or face, or with the joints, problems remain. He has already gone through several courses of antibiotics, and it does not help.

– Borrelia has some proteins with a similar antigenic composition to the tissues of the human body, it can trigger autoimmune reactions.There is a specific genotype associated with the HLA B-27 genes in patients in whom any infectious process, in principle, can trigger the development of reactive arthropathy.

It is the same with neurology. We have physiological methods for studying the nervous system. We can examine nerve conduction. If there is no problem in the study, and the patient feels it, it does not mean that he is inventing it. But it means that his perception of these symptoms is distorted.

In this case, psychiatrists, psychotherapists are needed.But the patient will refuse to the last the help of these specialists, of course. Patients believe that they will be immediately registered at the district neuropsychiatric dispensary, this will entail infringement of their rights, restrictions on hiring, and so on. In our country, a diagnosis from the field of psychiatry is considered shameful, although it is the same diagnosis as for heart or kidney disease.

– And if a patient went, say, to a psychiatrist, and he does not see the patient’s problems with the perception of reality, does not see strong anxiety? And the person continues to feel problems in the body.

– Psychiatrists are different. It might be worth seeing another psychiatrist. Perhaps the patient is poorly formulating the purpose of the visit to the psychiatrist. You can also go to a psychiatrist and say: “Here, they sent me to be checked.” Or you can say: “I have complaints, I go to the doctors, I get examined, I am worried that everyone kicks and says that they are healthy, but I feel bad.” Agree, different situations.

You can test the symptoms to see if they persist or not. In any case, the symptoms do not require repeated courses of antibiotic therapy, because the maximum course completely removes the pathogen from the body.

– Or maybe something that seemed to cure me, the symptoms went away, and returned a year later?

– No, this practically does not happen. We must look at what these symptoms are and what these symptoms are associated with. 90,010 90,000 Ticks and Lyme disease. What is it and how to protect yourself from it

Photo author, Getty Images

Spring is not only the return of heat, but also the activity of ticks that can carry infectious diseases.

One of these is Lyme disease, also known as borreliosis.

We will tell you how dangerous it is and how to protect yourself from it.

What is Lyme disease

Not all ticks are dangerous to humans, but some can carry pathogens. In the Ukrainian latitudes, tick-borne diseases are common – tick-borne encephalitis and Lyme disease.

While there is an effective vaccine for encephalitis, there is no Lyme disease.

Borreliosis is now the most common tick-borne disease in the Northern Hemisphere.

Late diagnosis of the disease can lead to damage to the nervous system, musculoskeletal system and heart. In the worst-case scenario, the disease can result in severe disability and even death.

Symptoms of the disease

The first symptoms of the disease appear only after an incubation period, which in most cases lasts from one to two weeks. However, sometimes we can talk about several months after the tick bite.

At the site of the bite, reddening of the skin usually (but not always) occurs, patients may also have a fever, a feeling of fatigue and headache. In some cases, there is nausea. Photophobia, eye pain and numbness may also develop.

Already at this stage it is very important to see a doctor: most patients who take a full course of antibiotics will recover completely.

If you do not seek medical attention in a timely manner, the disease can progress, causing inflammation in the joints, nervous system and heart.

In some cases, the disease leads to disability and severe disability.

Photo author, Getty Images

How to protect yourself

If vaccination is an effective preservative in the case of encephalitis (efficiency is about 95%), then the vaccine against Lyme disease has not yet been invented.

Therefore, the best way out is to do everything to avoid the tick bite.

A few basic tips if you are going for a walk:

  • try to wear closed clothes and high shoes – this makes it harder for the tick to get to the skin
  • it is desirable that the clothes are light – this gives a chance to notice the tick in time
  • use repellents – special equipment to scare away ticks
  • upon returning home, carefully examine the body and clothes – sometimes ticks hide in the folds of clothes and can wait for a chance to attach to the human body for several days

Doctors remind that you can pick up a tick not only in a forest or park, but and on any lawn.Most often they sit in the grass. The tick bite is almost impossible to feel.

What to do if you are bitten by a tick?

The main thing is to act quickly.