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The most dangerous encephalitic regions include the Urals, Siberia and the Far East, Yaroslavl region, Vologda region, Leningrad region, Kaliningrad region, Novgorod region, Pskov region, Samara region, Nizhny Novgorod region, Arkhangelsk region, Perm region, Karelia, Bashkortostan, Tatarstan, Udmurtia, as well as Dmitrovsky and Taldomsky districts of the Moscow region.
Tick-borne encephalitis: how to get vaccinated and what to do if unvaccinated in case of a bite
The vaccine can be obtained free of charge at state clinics under the MHI policy, if there are indications for this (for example, living in a dangerous area). Without evidence, vaccination is done for a fee in both private and public medical institutions. The cost of one dose of the Russian vaccine is –10 ₽, foreign — 100–1500 RUB.
The tick-borne encephalitis virus, which is carried by ticks of the genus ixodes, causes brain damage. The result can be paralysis, inflammation of the tissues of the brain and nerves. The disease can lead to disability and even death, although, of course, not in 100% of cases. In many people, the infection occurs in the form of fever and prolonged malaise. Antibiotics do not work on the tick-borne encephalitis virus. The only effective prevention of the disease is timely vaccination. First-time vaccine recipients should receive at least two doses of the vaccine. After the second dose, immunity is formed within two weeks, which should be taken into account when planning trips to potentially dangerous areas. The optimal vaccination schedule involves a longer period of time. The first dose of the vaccine is given in the fall, followed by a break from one month to six months, the second dose — in winter-spring, but no later than 2 weeks before a possible meeting with a tick, ”says Ivan Konovalov, Ph.D., associate professor Department of Infectious Diseases in Children, Russian National Research Medical University named after N.I. N.I. Pirogova, the author of the Praksys hygiene project, a doctor at the Diavax Medical Center.
According to the doctor, everyone can be vaccinated, including children from 1 year old and people with chronic diseases — they are not a contraindication. The vaccine does not contain live components and is harmless to everyone, except for people with a severe allergy to chicken eggs (the vaccine is based on them). Vaccination does not give one hundred percent protection against infection, but the immunity of the vaccinated can prevent severe forms of the disease and deaths. Moreover, if a tick has bitten an unvaccinated person, he is urgently injected with a specific immunoglobulin against the tick-borne encephalitis virus. Immunoglobulin is not available everywhere and works much weaker than pre-vaccination.
Borreliosis, or Lyme disease
Another infectious disease that ticks can transmit to humans is Lyme disease, or Ixodid tick-borne borreliosis. Unlike tick-borne encephalitis with a clear zoning, ITB occurs almost everywhere where ixodid ticks are active. Bacteria called borrelia can cause damage to the nervous system, skin, joints, and heart muscle. From the moment the tick is sucked to the development of malaise, it can take several weeks and even months. The most common visible sign of Borrelia tick transmission is the appearance of erythema annulare 5– days around the site of suction, but it does not appear in everyone, besides, it should not be confused with an allergy to the very suction of a tick. When patients present with advanced forms of the disease, complaints of fever, joints, neurological and cardiac symptoms, they require long, sometimes multiple courses of antibiotics and other serious drugs. The disease can take a protracted and relapsing course,” says Ivan Konovalov.
Tick bite prevention
Use repellents during any outdoor activity during the period of activity of ticks — from May to September. Read the instructions carefully: some products can be applied to both the skin and clothes, some can only be applied to clothes. At the same time, the repellent on clothes lasts much longer (up to a day) than on the skin (several hours), so keep this in mind and renew your protection.
If possible, in nature, completely cover the lower part of the body (leggings, high socks), and in open clothes without protection (and urgent need) do not go into bushes, tall grass, thickets.
Carefully inspect yourself after a walk or several times a day if you are in the country or on a hike.
If you are going to nature for several days, put a tick remover in your first aid kit (available in online stores and pharmacies) so that in case of a bite, you can correctly remove the insect and take it for analysis.
What should I do if bitten by a tick
- The tick must be carefully removed completely without killing it, crushing it or tearing off its head (this increases the risk of infection transmission). You can do this yourself with a thread, tweezers or a special device for removing ticks.
If it doesn’t work remove the tick on your own or do not know how to do it correctly, contact the emergency room. The wound will be treated there, and the tick will be given to the bank for analysis. encephalitis and Borrelia, also reveal anaplasma, ehrlichia and a number of other pathogens. Usually, the study lasts 1-3 days.