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Eurofurence 28 — "Cyberpunk"
Sep 18 – 21, 2024
CCH — Congress Center Hamburg


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Author Topic: Remember the ticks  (Read 6378 times)


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Remember the ticks
« on: 06.05.2007, 00:56:06 »

There's an article over at,1518,481040,00.html about the expected onset of tick-borne encephalitis that might be of interest for those that have never travelled to an affected area before (FWIW, the area around the hotel is quite heavily wooded, and a class 2 danger zone on a 4-part scale, so the risk is moderate but is there).

No one likes to think of tiny arachnids burrowing into their flesh, but if Germans know what's good for them, they'll start paying more attention to ticks and their nasty habits.

In the latest of a series of warnings by health organizations, Germany's Center for Travel Medicine recommended this week that everyone planning to spend time outdoors in Germany this summer should be immunized against tick-borne encephalitis.

The concern is largely prompted by the recent mild winter, which has paved the way for a tick plague this summer. "Because of the mild temperatures, conditions were favorable and most ticks probably survived the winter this year," Christine Klaus of the National Reference Laboratory for Tick-Borne Diseases at Germany's Friedrich-Loeffler Institute (FLI) in Jena told SPIEGEL ONLINE.

The south of the country is particularly affected.

Ticks, which are about the size of a freckle, are found in wooded and grassy areas where they wait to latch on to warm-blooded creatures, whose heat and scent they recognize with finely tuned sense organs. The bugs tend to prefer hard-to-find parts of the body such as the back of the knee. There they burrow into their host's flesh, swelling to three times their initial size as they ingest the blood of their victim. Infected ticks can pass on TBE during the meal.

Preventative measures, such as bug spray, long pants, and thorough body checks after outdoor recreation are essential to avoiding ticks and the diseases they carry. Experts like the FLI's Christine Klaus stress, however, that immunization is the most effective means of preventing TBE.

Klaus recommends that people in high-risk areas should "definitely" be immunized against tick-borne encephalitis. The RKI agrees, saying that even those who only venture into high-risk areas for a weekend jaunt should be immunized.

So, to make it short, give it a good thought. Most German health insurances pay for the neccessary immunization (the disease is called FSME in German), and many foreign insurance funds will do, too. Also, exercize a bit of caution when walking in the woods and the tall grass.
I will accept other opinions as long as you all accept that those opinions are wrong.

Dhary Montecore

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Re: Remember the ticks
« Reply #1 on: 25.07.2007, 16:05:08 »

Thats a good thought doco!

I just want to add a few things.

First of all, there's a good map of the risk-areas in Germany. Unfortunately the map is only available in German, but I translated it for everyone who want to have a look in addition of doco's description of the Area around the hotel.

About the immunization:
The immunization is a three-phase-process. The process usually takes about 9-12 months, but a speed-immunization is also possible: You'll get the second dose 7 days after the first and a third after 21 days (from the first one).
So, if you want to get an immunization till EF the speed-immunization is a good decision.

Since the area around the hotel is no high-risk area an immunization is not necessary but its alway a good thing. If you want to know more you should ask your general practitioner.

There are a few recommendations how to avoid ticks and how to proceed if bitten:

  • Avoid undergrowth, tall grass and thick bushes
  • If in woods stay on the paths
  • Wear long bright cloths, enclosed shoes and a light headgear
  • After abidance in woods and the like examine your clothes, fursuit and skin thoroughly (ticks are (at first) little black dots that cant be wiped off)
  • Use insect repellents

If you get a tick:

If you got a tick it should be removed with tweezers or a special removal tool. Take care not to damage or bruise the tick or to rip off its head! If you got the tick safe with the tweezers turn it clockwise or counterclockwise and pull it carefully and slowly out. Do NOT use nail polish, wax or alcohol on the tick! (If possible take the tick to your general practitioner. He can examine it further.)
After successfully removing the tick swab the puncture with a disinfection like iodine (Jod) or Alcohol.

I guess at EF you can also consult the medical team.

A special tick removing tweezer:
Further information:
« Last Edit: 25.07.2007, 16:40:49 by Dhary »
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