Ticks are dangerous for humans especially as transmitters of various infectious diseases. In Europe, these are mainly bacterial Lyme disease and the more rarely occurring viral tick-borne encephalitis (TBE).
Although ticks do not produce any poison themselves, they can transmit various bacterial or viral pathogens during their blood meal. Mind you "can" - there are also many ticks, which are free of such pathogens.
No, that is not to be expected. Ticks are not traditional tree dwellers, but rather sit on shrubs, herbs, grasses and ferns. They climb a height up to about 1.50 m.
The tick season in Germany ranges from April to October, depending on the temperature structure also from March to November. Even in mild winter months, the resilient parasites can occasionally mess up.
Unfortunately, there is no single measure that provides 100% safe protection against tick bites (or "tick bites"). However, one can drastically reduce the risk by combining simple measures and behavioral rules. These are used before, during or after your stay outdoors.
Remove any detected ticks immediately because they reduce the risk of Lyme disease, but also the risk of TBE infection. When removing a tick please note the following:
Lyme disease is a bacterial disease, and the rarer tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is a viral disease. While vaccinated against the TBE, but in the case of disease can not be treated causally (directly against the virus), the disease is the other way around: The bacteria can be successfully treated with antibiotics, if an infection has occurred and was detected preventive protection by vaccination is not possible yet.
Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is a viral disease that causes flu-like symptoms, fever, and in some patients inflammation of the brain and meninges (meningoencephalitis). In the majority of infected persons, however, no signs of disease occur.
Basically, tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is more dangerous for adults than for children. About 12-15% of TBE cases occur in childhood. While they are usually only mild in children and heal without consequences, there is a risk of lasting damage, especially in adults.
In 2006, the number of reported TBE disorders (early-summer meningo-encephalitis) in Germany with 546 cases was still above the 500 mark. The following year, reported cases dropped to 238, probably due to improved vaccination coverage.
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) summarizes the situation of the TBE infection risk in the various federal states as follows:
Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) occurs throughout Europe, especially in Russia, the Balkans, and Central and Northern Europe. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the majority of TBE cases in Germany occurred in 2009, especially in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.
In contrast to Lyme disease, there is a risk of TBE (tick-borne encephalitis) occurring only in certain geographical areas (endemic areas). The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) declares as competent federal authority such endemic areas as TBE risk areas in which, according to experts, the risk of disease due to contact with the ticks is particularly high.
No, in contrast to the viral meningitis TBE, no vaccine is available as a protective measure against bacterial borreliosis. Although a vaccine was developed in the USA in the 1990s, it was withdrawn from the market in 2002. It seems that economic reasons and possible vaccine complications played a role.