Rest in the forest can mar the bite of a small insect infected with the virus. Encephalitic mites live mainly in the Far East, the Urals and Siberia, but individual specimens can also be found in other regions. It is important to get the most information about the disease that they suffer in order to prevent life-threatening complications.
Tick-borne encephalitis - transmission routes
The primary source of the pathology under consideration are domesticated and wild warm-blooded animals, some species of birds and rodents. When they are bitten by a tick, they become infected with the virus and become a carrier of the disease. Human infection occurs during the insect's absorption of the skin and the penetration of its saliva into the bloodstream. Sometimes the tick-borne encephalitis virus is transmitted in other ways:
- when using fresh milk from an infected goat or cow;
- during attempts to extract and accidentally crush the mite in the wound;
- because of the scratching of the skin on which the feces or saliva of the insect have remained.
Tick-borne encephalitis - incubation period
If pathogenic cells enter the body through the digestive system, it secretly multiplies during 4-7 days. Tick-borne virus encephalitis progresses longer with transmissible infection (via blood), in this case the incubation period takes about 2 weeks. In rare situations, the development of the disease occurs up to 30 days. In people with weakened immunity, lightning-fast tick-borne encephalitis is diagnosed. It spreads through the body very quickly and penetrates into the tissues during the day.
Tick-borne encephalitis - symptoms
The early clinical picture is always identical. Pathology begins acutely and rapidly progresses. Signs of tick-borne encephalitis at the first stage resemble the standard flu. The virus penetrates the brain and causes the corresponding symptoms only if the blood-brain barrier is successfully overcome-the accumulation of cells separating the central nervous system from the bloodstream. If this does not happen, the disease proceeds easily and quickly cures.
Signs of a bite of an encephalitis tick in humans
The heaviest clinic is observed when the membranes of the spinal cord and brain are affected. In such situations, the bite of the encephalitis tick provokes:
- muscle weakness;
- intense pain in the head ;
- a feeling of fossil of the neck muscles;
- impaired consciousness;
- deterioration of sleep quality;
- defeat of facial muscles;
- paresis and other symptoms.
Tick-borne encephalitis in the absence of timely therapy can lead to severe inflammation of the membranes and tissues of the brain (head and spinal), their degeneration and necrosis. Sometimes it provokes extremely dangerous consequences, including death. To prevent complications, it is important to diagnose the infection in time and promptly begin correct treatment.
The first signs of tick-borne encephalitis
The earliest symptoms of the described disease are similar to respiratory-viral pathology:
- aches in the joints ;
- lack of appetite;
- nausea, sometimes with vomiting;
- low operability.
It is necessary to identify tick-borne encephalitis in time - the diagnosis is carried out by studying biological materials:
- blood (general, virological and biochemical analyzes);
- cerebrospinal fluid;
- the body of an insect.
Dangers and consequences of tick-borne encephalitis
If the disease in question was detected early in the course of the progression and the therapy began immediately, the person quickly recovers without complications. The main dangers of tick-borne encephalitis are the penetration of the virus into the membranes and tissues of the spinal cord and brain after overcoming the blood-brain barrier. In such cases, the infection affects the central nervous system and can end badly.
Complications of tick-borne encephalitis
Most people (about 98%) infected with a European insect look completely recovered. If the infection occurred after a bite of the Far Eastern tick subtype, complications after encephalitis occur in 10-25% of cases. These include:
- meningitis ;
- muscle atrophy;
- chronic carrier of the virus.
If the treatment is ineffective or its late onset, tick-borne encephalitis can lead to the following problems:
- persistent and life-long mental disorders;
- pathology of the nervous system;
Consequences of tick-borne encephalitis
A complicated viral infection in nearly a quarter of cases provokes disability. The most severe consequences of tick-borne encephalitis are paralysis of the whole body and death. The risk of a lethal outcome of a pathology depends on the species of the insect-carrier. The Far Eastern type of ticks is most dangerous, their bites are fatal in 20-27% of diagnosed diseases. For the European group of insects, this figure is 1-3%.
Tick-borne encephalitis - treatment
The virus that provokes the described pathology is resistant to all existing medications. Special therapy against tick-borne encephalitis has not yet been developed, so an infected person is immediately hospitalized and carries out maintenance and symptomatic treatment. It is aimed at strengthening the immune system and accelerating detoxification, stopping the signs of the disease.
To facilitate tick-borne encephalitis, the following drugs are used:
- antipyretic ;
- sorbents (in the form of solutions for drip administration);
- muscle relaxants.
When the acute period of the illness passes, the patient must undergo rehabilitation. Recovery involves:
- adherence to a balanced diet with a high content of vitamins;
- special gymnastics.
Prevention of tick-borne encephalitis
Significantly reduce the risk of complications or prevent infection with a few simple tips. There is a general and specific prevention of tick-borne encephalitis. In the first case, the recommendations are to prevent the penetration of viral cells into the body. The second type of event is designed for situations where infection is presumably or accurately occurred.
Emergency prophylaxis of tick-borne encephalitis
When a person bitten by an insect calls to the clinic, the administration of immunoglobulin G to the virus described is often prescribed. It is advisable to prick it during the first 3 days from the date of the alleged infection. After 10 days, repeated specific prophylaxis is carried out, and after 10-12 months the next and last injection is required.
Immunoglobulin against tick-borne encephalitis is universally applied, but its effectiveness has not been scientifically proven. There are authoritative studies that refute the need for the administration of this drug. In some cases, its use provokes tick-borne encephalitis. Almost immediately after the insect is sucked, the body's defense system starts producing its own immunoglobulin G. An artificial increase in its concentration in the blood can lead to an autoimmune reaction and a sharp deterioration in the patient's condition.
Vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis
The most effective preventive measure is the planned vaccination from the pathology in question. It must be done by people who live in areas with dangerous insects or are going to visit such regions. The vaccine against tick-borne encephalitis is administered three times according to the standard scheme. The second injection is performed in 4-12 weeks, and the last injection - after 9-12 months. Revaccination is carried out every 4-5 years. In order to maximize the effectiveness of the medication, and stable immunity is formed, the first vaccine is administered from September to November.
Nonspecific prophylaxis of tick-borne encephalitis
General preventive measures help to avoid contact with the insect itself, the products of its life activity and other variants of infection. Prevention of tick-borne encephalitis:
- Use exclusively pasteurized or boiled milk.
- Avoid places inhabited by dangerous insects. Ticks prefer forest areas with high grass and shrubs, they show special activity from April to July. It is advisable not to walk the paths of animals and livestock, because insects are hiding in branches and leaves with traces of their sweat.
- When visiting forests and park areas, wear tight clothing that covers the maximum of the skin surface. It is desirable to tuck a shirt or a T-shirt into trousers, and trousers to high socks.
- It is obligatory to wear a headdress, hiding hair under it. Especially it concerns owners of long and dense ringlets.
- Preferably dress in all light, so that the tick was easier to notice.
- Use potent repellents with a content of permethrin and diethyltoluamide (labeled as DETA).
- During the walk, regularly inspect clothing and hair. It is important to carefully check open areas of the body.
- Upon returning home immediately, still in the corridor, again check the clothes, headdress and hair. For scrupulous examination, it is advisable to ask another person to check the back and head.
- If a sucking mite was found, it should be immediately removed. The removal is carried out either by tweezers or by a thread tied around the protruding part of the body of the insect. Movements should be twisting and swinging. Draw, squeeze a mite or drip on it, you can not.
- After removing the insect, immediately treat the wound with any antiseptic solution and contact a parasitologist or infectious disease specialist.