Slovenia belongs to countries where there is a high chance of infection by the pathogens caused by ticks. We are by far the most common Lyme borreliosis, followed by benign meningoencephalitis, which can be effectively protected by vaccination. It is important to check after the arrival of the forest and remove the bank within 16 hours, experts advise.
As the warmer weather begins with tick activity and increases the likelihood of infections that can seriously jeopardize our health, Franc Strle with UKC Ljubljana, Marta Grgič Vitek the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) and Tatjana Avšič Županc of the Institute of Microbiology and Immunology of the Faculty of Medicine at the press conference talked about the risks that the countertops can bring and how to protect themselves from them.
Diseases transmitted by ticks are very common in Slovenia
As Grgič Vitkova explained, tick-borne diseases are quite common in Slovenia, and our morbidity is among the highest in Europe. The most frequent among them is Lyme borreliosis, which affects between 3,000 and 7,000 patients per year, and for tick meningoencephalitis, 170 people per year have fallen on average in the last decade. Then there is human granulocytic anaplasmosis, for which the data in NIJZ do not have.
According to preliminary data, 7.559 people were diagnosed with Lyme borreliosis, which is a record number, the highest in the last ten years. The disease affects people of all age groups, from 55 to 64 years of age, there are always more women among the patients. It is a seasonal disease that lasts from May to October, when banks are the most common, and is widespread throughout Slovenia, mainly in the region of Novo Mesto, in the regions of Carniolan, Murska Sobota and Novomë.
The vaccine is not available, so protection against tick trampling is extremely important – with appropriate clothing (long pants, long sleeves), repellent protection, post-arrival examination. If we detect a bench, it should be removed as soon as possible.
The Ordinance on the establishment of the vaccination and protection program for drugs for 2019 provides some news. Among other things, it introduces the recommended vaccination against tick-borne meningoencephalitis for children who will complete this year for three years and for adults who will be 49 years old. Vaccination can only start once the vaccine is available, probably in the fall.
For benign meningoencephalitis, which is second by frequency, an average of 170 people die annually and 153 cases last year. These are people of all age groups, especially between 55 and 64 years. This disease also occurs seasonally, from May to October, and the morbidity is the highest in Gorenjska and Carinthia, in the part of the region of Celje, and in the region of Ljubljana, especially in the area of Cerknica and Ribnica.
You can vaccinate this disease – vaccination, which is very effective, is recommended for everyone who goes to nature, anyone over one year old. Primary vaccination is done with three doses, the booster dose is recommended in three years, and then for five years.
"The 2014 survey with a representative sample showed that 16% of the population had already been immunized against tick-borne meningitis and, based on the reports on the implementation of vaccination, we estimate that it is regularly divided between seven and eight percent of the population. "
About signs and symptoms of the disease
Strong spoke about the signs and symptoms of the disease. Lyme boreliosis usually follows: the sting of the bench, and then a few days or weeks of zero, then a red, which gradually increases and begins to fade in the middle, creates in this place. Sometimes that is the only sign of the disease, if it does not heal, it can last for a few weeks and it spreads a lot, but then it disappears. For some people, this means they are healed, but in others, additional problems can occur in other organs – most often the nervous system is affected, joints, eyes and more can be affected. The treatment is done with antibiotics and is particularly effective early in the course of the disease. Subsequent successes of treatment are minor, but, at least in all forms of this disease, its progress may be halted and in many patients a cure occurs. Heart failure, which is very rare and the only thing that can be life-threatening, is always cured with proper treatment, but care must be taken to avoid heart failure. "Because of Lyme's boreliosis, he does not die, nor the way rumors circulate among people. But you can get very, very captivating life!said Strle.
Signs of meningoencephalitis transmitted by ticks include fever, headache, malaise, muscle aches, which last a week, then improve, sometimes the fever completely disappears and there are signs of nervousness – higher fever, severe headache, vomiting. In some (in adults, this is in the middle of the level), signs of brain impairment, which can be seen as tremor in the hands, can not be well thought out, are sleepy … There is a paralysis between 5 and 10%. There are no remedies here, they try to help patients symptomatically alleviate their problems. "The percentage of patients in our area dies, about 5% remain permanently paralyzed, and one third of them have objective signs – paralyzed or poorly heard, general malaise, tiredness, headaches, discord, irritability .. Nothing special, this disturbs the quality of life very much. The proportion of these people is quite substantial "He explained.
Human granulocytic anaplasmosis is a febrile illness with muscle pain, headache and bad feelings. Antibiotic treatment, with which the sensation improves rapidly, usually falls within 24 hours.
"The bank in the bank should be discussed and edited by all"
Strle also stressed that the seam of the seats should be handled and edited by everyone. "If you have a bank, it is more important to find out that you have it. If you want to find out, it pays to pay attention to knowledge. When you leave the forest, the body needs to be examined, and if the seat is sucked in, it is more reasonable to look at the clamp as close to the skin as possible and to remove it carefully. If you do it in a hurry, it is more likely that the stick remains in the skin, which is not serious from the point of view of transmission of infection, but is a foreigner to whom it is better to go "He explained.
It is very important how long the seat is mounted. "If every stabbed bench also meant Lyme borreliosis, that would be a disaster. But all banks are not infected. If you have an accident to get infected with a bank, it takes some time for the infection to pass to you. This interval of security is about 16 hours, so it pays to pay attention as fast as possible and remove the seat,"he still advises.
& # 39; Diagnosis is extremely fast & # 39;
Tatjana Avšič Županc said that borreliosis could be confirmed even without a microbiological examination, while the other two diseases need such investigations."Recently we have to be more careful in the laboratories, as you know, in Slovenia last year we discovered the first patients with West Nile virus infection, which is closely related to the genetic and antigenic structure and belongs to the same family of the virus. benign meningitis. "According to her, the diagnostic procedure is extremely fast, every day, even on holidays.