New areas added to Germany's tick-risk map
The arrival of springtime marks the start of tick season across Germany. Now, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has announced that Germany’s tick-risk area is larger than in previous years.
Bavaria and Saxony-Anhalt are tick-risk regions
While most tick bites are harmless to humans, some unlucky tick victims can develop Lyme disease, and in the worst case a brain infection called tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). Ahead of tick season, and because of the potential danger of tick bites, Germany’s RKI has released up-to-date information about tick-risk areas across the country.
Southern Germany, in particular Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, are the federal states where ticks are most active in Germany. However, in Saxony-Anhalt, the RKI has also expanded the zones where people could be at risk of developing TBE.
In southern parts of Hesse, southeastern Thuringia and Saxony, people are also at the highest risk. In total, 180 districts across Germany now have designated risk areas.
546 German TBE cases reported in 2022
The RKI has reported that of the 546 reported cases of TBE in Germany during 2022, only two of which were fatal, 98 percent of patients were not vaccinated against the infection. Though the over 60s are much more vulnerable to infection, the institute urges all people in Germany to get vaccinated ahead of tick season, particularly since most cases of TBE are largely asymptomatic.
Since the majority of people living in high-risk regions have not been vaccinated against TBE, the RKI believes that a large number of infections are entirely avoidable. The institute also warns that removing the parasites once they have already pierced the skin is ineffective since the TBE virus infects humans as soon as ticks begin sucking.
Symptoms of tick bites can include redness around the bite. Nerves, joints and the heart can also be affected by the spreading bacteria.
You can find more information about the RKI's updated tick map here.
Thumb image credit: Malykalexa / Shutterstock.com
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