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You should remove the tick carefully from the skin with a pair of fine tweezers or other tools like a tick card or a tick lasso. Clasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and slowly pull, lever or turn the tick out. As the stinger of tick has barbs on it, it helps to disengage them when removing a tick by slightly rotating the tweezers to the left and right as you pull.
No cause for alarm. When a tick is removed it often happens that a little of the tick's body is left behind in the skin. In such cases, it is not actually the head of the tick, just a part of its stinger. This tiny foreign matter is usually naturally rejected by the body after a few days.
There are ticks all over Germany. They prefer to live on the edges of woodland and forest glades, but also in city parks and gardens. Ticks that carry the dangerous TBE virus are predominantly found in southern Germany.
The best-known symptom of infection following a tick bite is a ring-shaped rash that develops around the bite site (Erythema migrans). This is a typical indication of an infection with Lyme disease (borreliosis).
In case of TBE infection, this does not occur. There are general symptoms that may point to an infection: flu-like symptoms such as drowsiness, fever, headaches and difficulty concentrating.
Go to the doctor if you have flu-like symptoms like drowsiness, fever or headache. Also, go see a doctor when a ring-shaped rash develops around the site you were bitten at. It could mean that you are infected with Lyme disease.
Take care! It can take more than three weeks after a tick bite before symptoms of an infection become noticeable. Remember the possibility of getting symptoms, for a long time.
Ticks are active at 7 degrees Celsius and above. In Germany, the "main season for ticks" usually begins in the spring and ends in late fall. In years of milder winters, though, the season can start in January and continue until December.
Ticks act as carriers for many pathogens. From a tick bite in Germany, people are usually only in danger of Borrelia bacteria or the tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) virus.
The only certain protection is to avoid tick bites altogether. Insect repellents can offer protection for short periods and removing ticks promptly is important as well. But despite wearing sensible clothes, spraying repellents and thoroughly searching the body for ticks, the only effective way to protect yourself against tick-borne encephalitis is a TBE vaccination.
There are ticks in almost every country and they transmit different pathogens. The risk of contracting tick-borne encephalitis is especially high in many eastern European countries. You will find more detailed information about specific countries here.