One in four ticks found to carry Lyme disease this year in Latvia

Take note – story published 1 year ago

More than 20% of the ticks analyzed in all Latvian laboratories have been tested positive for Lyme borrelia this year. Borrelia can cause Lyme disease against which there are no vaccines. The other dangerous tick-borne illness – encephalitis – has only been found in a few ticks, Latvian Television reported on May 26.

At the Latvian Infectology center, encephalitis has not been detected at all this year but 26% of the tested ticks have shown borrelia. Most testing is done by the 'Central Laboratory', where out of 710 ticks tested, four tested positive for encephalitis but 23% were positive for Lyme, said Central Laboratory's board member Jeļena Storoženko.

Currently, ticks are very active. It is important to remove a tick as soon as it is found. 

After removing the tick, it is recommended that you pay attention to possible flu-like symptoms and address the doctor in case such appear. Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics.

Last year, 50 patients of tick-borne encephalitis and 11 patients of Lyme disease were treated at the Latvian Infectology Center. Currently one person is treated inpatient for a severe case of Lyme.

There is no vaccine against Lyme disease but not everyone catches it. The immune system can beat borrelia on its own.

If you wish to test a tick in a laboratory, it must be brought there within 72 hours. It must not be dried or squashed.

According to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Latvia is among Europe's tick hotspots. You can check out more information on how to deal with them on our other story.

 

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