Every third tick in Denmark carries borrelia  – The Post

Every third tick in Denmark carries borrelia 

A study showed that the ticks, mostly transported via migratory birds, are being dropped off in gardens and backyards

Plucked out (photo: Pixabay)
August 12th, 2019 2:41 pm| by Arushi Rajput

Ticks are blood-sucking parasites that attach themselves to humans, and around one-third of them are now shown to have borrelia – a bacterial  infection – which can spread dreaded illnesses such as Lyme disease.

Every year, thousands of Danes are infected with borrelia, according to Rigshospitalet. About 150 of them contract the disease. 

DTU Veterinary Institute’s latest figures indicate there have been a record number of ticks in 2019 compared to previous years. 

The study
According to a study published on Science Direct in April 2019, ticks are transported from migratory birds in the spring and autumn. They are often dropped off in gardens, backyards and forests. 

A sample of ticks taken from over 800 birds was used for the study, and 36.9 percent were proven to contain the borrelia DNA. 

This means that approximately one-third of the parasites found in your backyards carry the infectious disease borrelia. 

Prevention
There are some measures to avoid the ticks, as recommended by Odense University Hospital: be fully clothed in long trousers and sleeves and cover the ankles when walking through the woods or grassy areas, and wear light-coloured clothes as they make it easier to spot the ticks.  

There are also several borrelia test-kits available on the market. 

Cure
If you are bitten by a tick, there are certain cures to implement – remove the tick with tweezers as soon as you spot it to minimise the risk and pay attention to the area around the bite. 

“Sometimes the jaws of the fleet remain seated. They do not infect, but can still cause some skin irritation,” advised Nanna Skaarup Anderson, a researcher in tick-transmitted infections at Odense University Hospital. 

The most common symptom that borrelia has been transmitted – a red ring with a radius of around five centimetres – becomes evident between two and six weeks. In this case, contact your doctor immediately so he or she can start you on a penicillin treatment. 

The rash caused by borrelia (photo: Hannah Garrison)