Ticks are carriers of various pathogens. After outdoor activities, it is therefore important to check your body for ticks and to properly remove any ticks. If the tick’s head remains in your skin, this is not a problem. Its head (sucker) does not have to be removed, as it will dry off and be pushed out by the skin within a few days.
At our latitudes, we often talk about borreliosis, (Lyme disease) and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE).
- Borreliosis or Lyme disease (bacterial infection)
If the tick is removed from the body within twenty-four hours, the risk of an infection is very low. If a red ring (erythema migrans) develops around the tick bite within two to three weeks, you should see a doctor. The borreliosis can be treated very well with antibiotics.
- TBE (viral infection)
The pathogen is transferred immediately with the bite. Even within the endemic areas, only one to three per cent of all ticks have the virus.
In many cases, the infection does not cause any problems other than slight symptoms similar to those of a flue, if at all, which occur about two weeks after the tick bite. A meningitis rarely develops, which does not fully heal in all cases.
A vaccination against TBE is available. Persons spending a lot of time in the outdoors are advised to be vaccinated against TBE.