Lyme disease: what it is and how to defend against ticks | Modern Woman
LLyme disease is a rare disease that is transmitted through ticks. Justin Bieber suffers from it and before him Victoria Cabello and Bella Hadid have told of suffering from it. Here’s how to defend yourself from ticks and what risk you run in Italy
There is one rare disease which is transmitted through the ticks. Is called Lyme disease and it’s in the spotlight these days. To bring it to the fore is Justin Bieber: the singer had to interrupt his concerts on the orders of doctors because of a worsening of the disease.
Lyme disease: also affected Victoria Cabello and Bella Hadid
Shortly before him, Victoria Cabello had also revealed that her long absence from TV was linked to Lyme disease. In an interview with D-The Republic of Women he told himself thus: “It is known that I had Lyme syndrome. I thought about dying and I faced a long rehabilitation process. Now it has passed ». Healed, the TV presenter and author is back on TV with Beijing Express and won, paired with Paride Vitale.
The first to have reported suffering from Lyme disease was the model Bella Hadid. Some time ago she posted on Instagram a letter addressed to her mother, also a model, who lives with her disease for several years, diagnosed very late and therefore chronic. Bella’s mother has even written a book where she describes the daily battle against this disabling pathology that unites her, her daughter Bella and also her son.
The cause is an infected tick
But one mint can it really turn life upside down? “Ticks can be” infested “by a bacterium that was originally a host only to animals,” explains Carmine Gazzaruso, head of first aid, Clinical Institute Beato Matteo in Vigevano. “Of course, not all of them, but if you are unfortunately struck by an infected tick, the infection is almost certain.”
How common is Lyme disease?
According to the CDC, the disease surveillance center, the Lyme disease currently in the United States it is theinfection most common among those transmitted by vector, in this case the tick. In Italy, however, the disease is less widespread. The problem, however, is the diagnosis.
Lyme disease is confused with fibromyalgia
In fact, in about two out of ten cases the disease presents itself only with great tiredness and pain in the muscles and joints, so much so that it is suspected that it is fibromyalgia, a rheumatic disease. To make matters worse are the negative blood tests because there is no evidence of infection. However, precious time is lost. If not treated quickly, the disease can progress and become chronic, as happened to Bella Hadid’s mother, with serious damage to the joints, nervous system, heart, eyes and other organs.
Precisely for this reason new strategies are being studied diagnosis. The news in the scientific journal is recent Analytical Chemistry of an innovative blood test that would be able to identify traces of the presence of the bacterium four weeks after the infection. It must also be said that in the States, an ad hoc vaccine against the bacterium responsible for Lyme disease is available. It is recommended in the age group between 15 and 70 years who reside, or work or spend most of the day in the areas infested with infected ticks.
Is there a risk of contracting Lyme disease in Italy?
In Italy, as in all of Europe, this vaccine there is not. However, it must be said that, at least for now, there is no alarm situation like in the States. However, there is the tick-borne meningoencephalitis vaccine, the most common disease in Italy. The route of transmission is always the same as for Lyme disease and in Friuli Venezia Giulia, the region most at risk, vaccination is provided free of charge to all inhabitants. It occurs one to two weeks after the bite with symptoms similar to those of the flu. And in about three out of ten cases, after a few weeks of improvement, fever over 39, headache, loss of sensitivity in the limbs, mental confusion, are triggered, so much so that they have to be hospitalized.
Lyme disease symptoms
“Vaccination is the best solution for those who live in areas at risk because there is still no specific cure for meningo-encephalitis” says the expert. Lyme disease can be treated fairly easily if diagnosed early. “For this reason, those who have been affected by the tick should be very careful for about 30-60 days and speak immediately with the doctor in case of fever, pain in the muscles and joints, or, and this is particularly true for Lyme disease, rashes on the skin, especially if with a circular shape, very red outwards and a tendency to regress in the central part (target erythema). At the moment this is the only way for a timely diagnosis and start the course of antibiotic treatment to “kill” the bacterium ».
How to defend yourself from ticks
It must be said, however, that the tick you can keep well away by putting some rules into practice prevention, the same all over the world. In fact, their habitat never changes: they live on the ground, in the grass, at the edge of the woods, near waterways, and even on the beach, depending on the presence of animals. On free beaches then, especially if they are part of a natural park, it is better not to sit directly on the sand but to use beach towels with plastic bottoms, and not to place clothes and backpacks on the ground. While in the woods and meadows, always wear long pants, shoes, and socks. Attention also to dogs and cats, if they are left roaming around in the garden: before returning, a check is mandatory. Yes, even a careful look at the whole family in the evening after a shower.
What to do in case of a tick bite
And if you notice a slight redness, or a slight swelling, look for a black dot about the size of the pinhead. There mint it is not felt because the saliva contains an anesthetic substance. “Even if it is instinctive to do so, avoid touching the tick directly” concludes Dr. Gazzaruso. “If it is squeezed, the risk of infection increases. First, however, disinfect the area with alcohol, then grab it, but without squeezing it, with the tweezers and pull gently to remove it, making small rotational movements. Sprinkle with alcohol again and disinfect your hands.
If you are unsure whether to carry out the maneuver correctly, go to the emergency room. And in any case, I recommend going there even if you managed to remove it. This is because during the tick removal can remain within the skin the rostrum, that is the area of the mouth, which is not always visible to those who are not experts and also because the doctor may decide for antibiotic prophylaxis of the Lyme disease“.
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