If a tickler has got used to you - feel free to panic. Caution is unnecessary. All about tick-borne encephalitis in our article.
Mite encephalitis is a severe viral disease, the carriers of which are mites of the genus Ixodes (with characteristic flaps on the back). In rare cases, it can be transmitted with raw milk of cows and goats. The disease is dangerous because there are no special methods to fight the virus today. All that doctors can do is to undertake symptomatic treatment and to facilitate the course and effects of the disease.
The causative agent of the disease is the RNA virus belonging to the genus Flavivirus. In Ukraine, the three main subtypes of this virus are most common:
- The tick-borne encephalitis virus of the European subtype - occurs in the European part of Ukraine and is manifested in two stages of a fever with a lacuna between them;
- The tick-borne encephalitis virus of the Far Eastern subtype - is found mainly in the Far East, characterized by high mortality, reaching the values of 20-40%;
- The tick-borne encephalitis virus of the Siberian subtype - the disease often goes into a chronic stage.
Meet the encephalitis mite
To hunt an insect, select low bushes or grass along the paths, rarely climbing above the level of the human knee. Having clung to run past the victim, the mite can still 2-3 hours crawl on it in search of the most vulnerable skin. Where it follows that the best prevention of tick-borne encephalitis is clothing with dense cuffs on the wrists and ankles, as well as a mandatory survey of satellites every two hours.
When biting, the tick releases a special cementing substance into the skin of the victim, which fixes his jaws in the thickness of the skin. So just remove the skin from the skin will not work. If, however, it fails, the head may break. The tick-borne encephalitis virus is found in the salivary glands of the tick. Therefore, if the head is left in the skin, the virus will continue to enter the bloodstream. To avoid this, and to remove the intact mite, it is necessary to tie it with a thread as close as possible to the surface of the skin, after which, gently rocking in different directions, pull it spirally up. By the way, it makes no sense to smear a mite with oil or petroleum jelly - he will not hurt it, and then it will be harder for you to pull it out. Also, it is not necessary to rub the tick between fingers, as the risk of getting the virus into the blood due to skin damage is still.
How to understand that you have fallen ill
The incubation period for tick-borne encephalitis (from the time the virus enters the body until the first symptoms appear) is 1-2 weeks if you are fond of it, and from 4 to 7 days when the virus is transmitted through infected milk.
At the initial stage, the disease manifests itself as fever, loss of appetite, muscle aches, headache, nausea and vomiting.
If the virus has managed to reach the shells of the brain, meningitis develops. The main symptoms of the disease are: fever, severe headaches and stiff neck muscles (their prolonged spasm, through which the patient can not touch the chest chest). Also, the presence of symptoms of Kernig and the upper symptom of Brudzinsky is characteristic.
The upper symptom of Brudzinsky: when trying to incline his head forward, the patient involuntarily bends his knees and tightens them to the abdomen.
Kernig's symptom: the impossibility of completely straightening in the knee joint leg preconditioned in the knee and hip joint joints.
In the case of more profound spread and damage to the tissues of the brain develops encephalitis - inflammation of the gray matter of the brain. The symptoms of the disease are: headache in the forehead and eyes, drowsiness, vomiting, photophobia, epileptic seizures, paralysis and coma may develop.
Mite encephalitis is an extremely difficult and life-threatening illness. Therefore, when the first symptoms appear, you should urgently seek medical attention.
Diagnosis of tick-borne encephalitis
Well, if you manage to catch and save the live tick that bites you. It will be necessary to take him to the laboratory to determine the presence or absence of the disease.
Also patients are:
- Clinical blood test and analysis on IgM and IgG antibodies. (If IgM is found in the blood, then the infection with the virus has occurred recently. If IgG is found, then either the patient was vaccinated or we are seeing a late stage of the disease. If both are found, the infection is at its very height.)
- PCR (polymerase chain reaction) - RNA analysis of the tick-borne encephalitis virus.
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) - an assessment of the degree of damage to the brain.
In conclusion, a differential diagnosis of tick-borne encephalitis with Boreliosis (Lyme disease) is performed.
Treatment of the disease
Treatment is performed only in the hospital, as it may require resuscitation of the patient.
The worst picture of the disease's development consists of damage to the nervous system, atrophy of the affected muscles, endocrine disorders, memory and intellectual disorder, and death of the patient. To prevent this from happening, doctors are advised to carry out a timely vaccination of the population.