Health is implementing a plan to confront tick-borne diseases

Health is implementing a plan to confront tick-borne diseases

Increased temperatures due to global warming and other environmental and biological factors have caused a “massive increase” in the numbers of ticks, which can not only cause annoying bites but also transmit diseases. To try to alleviate the problem, the Ministry of Health decided to include in the plan for the prevention, surveillance and control of vector-borne diseases, which are infections spread by insects, a specific chapter of measures aimed at mitigating the effects of tick bites on health.

These insects can transmit various diseases, both to humans and animals, but Sanitat is particularly concerned about two: Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever and Lyme disease. The first case was first detected in Spain in 2016 and since then 15 serious cases have been diagnosed: 14 people infected by a tick bite and one by indoor transmission in a hospital. Three have died. Fortunately, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever usually causes cases of mild symptoms that go undetected, but when severe cases result, mortality rates range between 20% and 40%.

The most common disease

Lyme disease is more common. The incidence is calculated as three cases per million population. It also produces mild symptoms, but can cause long-term disability or mobility problems. The ticks that can infect Lyme disease are concentrated in northern Spain, but there is a lot of vigilance across the country in the face of their potential spread. Not all ticks transmit diseases, but the Ministry of Health decided to include this type in the plan with the aim of increasing controls and preventive measures.

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