Ten years of Tick Radar: 80,000 tick bite reports, the highest risk of tick bite in Drenthe

Exactly ten years ago, RIVM and Wageningen University the citizen science network for research into and information about tick bites and Lyme disease. Since then, more than 80,000 tick bites have been reported. Various studies in collaboration with the Lyme centers of Amsterdam UMC University Medical Center and Radboudumc Radboud University Medical Center yielded many new insights. As a result, we know better where, when and how tick bites and Lyme disease occur, and the disease can be recognized earlier.

Greatest chance of a tick bite in Drenthe

Most tick bite reports came from Gelderland, Noord-Brabant and Noord-Holland. The number of reported tick bites in relation to the population size is highest in Drenthe, followed by Gelderland, and lowest in South Holland. The number of tick bite reports is highest in June and July: about 50% of all tick bite reports per year. We also found that nearly 1 in 5 people who reported a tick bite discovered more than 1 tick bite at a time. It was striking that adults had a bite on the leg in just over half of the cases. Children, on the other hand, most often had a bite on the head or neck. But bites all over the body have been reported in adults and children alike. If you find a tick on your body, check the rest of your body extra carefully.

Rapid tick removal cuts Lyme disease risk in half

Who did and didn’t get Lyme disease after a tick bite report? We looked into this. As a result, we now know that the chance of Lyme disease after a tick bite is on average 2% to 3%, despite the fact that 20% of ticks are infected with the Lyme bacteria. If you remove the tick quickly (within a few hours), this chance is halved. If you let the tick sit until the tick is completely engorged, the risk of Lyme doubles. It underlines the importance of carrying out a tick check after a visit to the green and removing ticks quickly.

Lyme disease better recognized

Every year, the Dutch get a total of one and a half million tick bites, causing Lyme disease in 27,000 people. This is often the early form of the disease with discoloration of the skin at the site of the tick bite. We know from the Tick Radar investigation that it is not always a red ring. In a third of the cases it looks more like a uniform reddish colored spot, which is more difficult to recognize.

Recognizing that red ring or spot after a tick bite is so important, as the first sign of Lyme disease. There are as yet no blood tests that can properly detect this early Lyme disease. Therefore, keep an eye on the site of a tick bite on the skin for up to three months after the bite to see if a red circle or spot develops.

Fortunately, people with Lyme disease in most cases recover without residual symptoms after treatment with antibiotics. Thanks to the study, we now also know that of the annual 27,000 people with Lyme disease, 1000 to 1500 people have long-term complaints after treatment. The exact cause of these complaints is still unknown.

Ten years of Tick Radar: 80,000 tick bite reports, the highest risk of tick bite in Drenthe
Source link Ten years of Tick Radar: 80,000 tick bite reports, the highest risk of tick bite in Drenthe

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