Lyme disease – Russia

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May 11, 2022 – As of this date, there have been a total of 4,600 reports of tick bites throughout the Sverdlovsk region, Russia. Five cases of tick-borne encephalitis were reported. Three of the cases were children who were admitted to hospitals for treatment. The individuals who have been exposed to these tick bites are from Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Tagil, Kamensk-Uralsky, and Verkhnyaya Pyshma. There were 11 individuals hospitalized for tick-borne ixodid borreliosis. Seven of the cases were children.

In response to the outbreak, samples of the ticks have been taken in for laboratory analysis. Tick-borne encephalitis, Lyme borreliosis, and other tick-borne infections were found in a few samples. Officials of the source state that acaricidal treament is being conducted in the area across 3,000 acres as part of a public health action.

Photo: Adult deer tick, Ixodes scapularis

Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, is an infectious disease caused by the Borrelia bacterium which is spread by ticks.

The most common sign of infection is an expanding red rash, known as erythema migrans, that appears at the site of the tick bite about a week after it occurred.

If untreated, symptoms may include loss of the ability to move one or both sides of the face, joint pains, severe headaches with neck stiffness, or heart palpitations, among others. Months to years later, repeated episodes of joint pain and swelling may occur.

Prevention includes efforts to prevent tick bites such as by wearing clothing to cover the arms and legs, and using insect repellents. Attached ticks should be removed promptly with fine tipped tweezers. Risk of infection increases with time of attachment.

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