First case of tick paralysis discovered in Europe

10th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

10 May 2006, ROSTOCK, GERMANY - German experts believe they have discovered Europe's first case of tick paralysis, as concerns grow about other diseases spreading through Europe with the parasites, according to a report Monday.

10 May 2006

ROSTOCK, GERMANY - German experts believe they have discovered Europe's first case of tick paralysis, as concerns grow about other diseases spreading through Europe with the parasites, according to a report Monday.

Tick paralysis affects about 20,000 farm animals on grasslands in Australia and the United States each year and also sometimes hits children. The disease is one of more than a dozen spread by ticks, tiny biting creatures similar to spiders.

The German case involved a 47-year-old man in the port city of Rostock who suffered paralysis and saw double till he recovered, the head of the University of Rostock institute of tropical diseases, Emil Reisinger, said.

Confirming a report in the newspaper Ostsee-Zeitung, he said a doctor of tropical medicine had not been able to isolate the toxin, but made the diagnosis by excluding all other possible causes.

Tick paralysis ceases when the tick is removed, but can be fatal if the blood-sucker continues undiscovered. Previously experts believed tick paralysis only occurred within the range of the white tick and was not caused by European ticks.

Like mosquitoes, ticks transmit many diseases, but not every bite leads to an infection. The borreliosis bacteria, found in ticks' stomachs, causes nerve and joint inflammation.

Tick-borne encephalitis, caused by a virus from ticks, is spreading north and westwards through European tick populations and causing meningitis and another form of paralysis in human victims.

North American ticks transmit Lyme disease. Ticks wait in long grass to jump onto mammal hosts and suck their blood.

DPA

Subject: German news

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