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Old 17th June 2005, 11:24   #1 (permalink)
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Stay alert for ticks....

If you're planning a camping or walking holiday in Europe this summer then watch your step through the undergrowth.

A new 'Tick Alert' disease awareness campaign has been launched by MASTA (Minding Your Health Abroad) to raise awareness of Tick Borne Encephalitis (TBE) in 16 European countries, including Solvenia, Poland, Sweden and Austria.

TBE is a potentially life-threatening viral disease that affects the central nervous system - infected are also in danger of developing meningitis or brain inflammation.

It is passed on through ticks, small insects that wait on the underside of grasses and bushes and grab onto passing mammals with the barbs in their forelegs.

The tick then bites, anaesthetising the skin in the area - so the host is unaware of the tick. The TBE virus then enters blood circulation and spreads throughout the body.

Incubation time varies between eight and 14 dyas, with symptoms that may include fever, headaches, nausea and photophobia (intolerance of light) - and in some extreme cases meningitis.

Those most at risk of contracting TBE are campers, hikers and other outdoor sports participants, as well as families with small children and elderly people.

Travellers to TBE endemic Europe can take common sense precautions to reduce the risk to themselves; liberal use of a tick-effective insect repellent at all times, avoid wearing shorts in rural or wooded areas and as far as possible cover all areas of exposed skin and inspect your skin regularly for ticks.

If a tick has attached itself to you, remove as soon as possible by gripping the tick close to the head (NOT the abdomen) and pulling straight out in an upward direction.

It is also wise to avoid unpasturised milk, which may also be infected with the TBE virus in endemic countries.

Also, if you are a keen outdoor sports or walking enthusiast in these areas then think about getting innoculated against the TBE virus.

The TBE vaccine is a lengthy process - consisting of three doses, the second dose must be given between one and three months after the first, and the third between five and 12 months after the second dose - however for regular visitors it may be a wise precaution.

Vaccination is available at GP surgeries and healthcare centres.


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Old 17th June 2005, 13:22   #2 (permalink)
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OMG Yuk, what a horrible looking little critter. We walk for miles when we go over, I'm staying to the tracks and pavements[^]

Our neighbours warned Gary about walking up the mountain, they told him to stay to the tracks because of scorpions and ticks, they weren't kidding eh?

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Old 17th June 2005, 13:28   #3 (permalink)
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It took my two dogs literally months to eradicate the infection they both picked up. Awful things and a nightmare as other dogs on the site where we lived were un-vaccinated therefore the problem just mushroomed.

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Old 18th June 2005, 00:22   #4 (permalink)
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The little dog near us in Turkey had quite a few of these ticks attached to her, I didn't realise what they were at first. We managed to get them off her and clear her up but obviously any infection could have been passed.

My dog at home had one years ago and I thought it was a big spot. I rubbed ointment into it daily before taking it to the vet and finding out it was a crawly. Another great life experience.

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alert , stay , ticks

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