Alarm In Spain Over The Sudden Increase In Ticks

Image of Jose Alberto Armijo and Francisco Arce. Credit: [email protected]_Nerja

ALARM In Spain Over The Sudden Increase In Ticks,the parasitic mites that feed on blood

Several Spanish provinces have sounded the alarm in recent weeks over a sudden noticeable increase in the number of ticks, a parasitic mite that can transmit serious diseases, such as Lyme or Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, which has already caused three fatalities in Spain in recent years.

Out of the 900 identified species of ticks, 20 are known to reside in Spain, and as experts point out, they are insects that need blood to survive to complete their biological cycles and, to stay in a human being, they need physical contact, since they cannot jump or move long distances.

Zaragoza has recently seen such a proliferation of ticks in several green areas of the city that the Town Hall, alerted this week by the Official College of Veterinarians, is going to launch an unprecedented disinfection campaign next week in 17 parks of the capital, after 95.8 per cent of the city’s veterinary centres have reported detecting an increase.
Luis Javier Yus, manager of the Official College of Veterinarians of Zaragoza, told El Periódico de Aragón, “There have always been ticks, but this time it is being especially conspicuous. When the veterinarians have called us giving the warning voice, because it was something exaggerated, it is clear that something is happening. This is the first time that such a disinfection is going to be carried out”.
Residents of Leganés in Madrid have been reporting an upsurge in the insects too, affecting not only their dogs, but their children, and even adults, according to Telemadrid, with the one main problem being that town hall technicians cannot distribute products to kill the insects in a generalised way due to legal reasons, and because it could be dangerous for children and dogs, according to laopiniondemalaga.es.

Crimean-Congo fever is the most serious that the tick can transmit, with the first recorded case in Spain being diagnosed in 2013 in a healthy young woman, in her thirties, who was admitted to the University Hospital of Salamanca, and since then, nine cases have been officially recorded, with three deaths.

Spain is currently the only country in Western Europe that has reported its appearance and scientists fear that it will get worse, with Dr. Jorge Romaní, a specialist in Dermatology, explaining how to remove them if they bite us: it is easy to remove the tick, but with great care not to break it and that no parts of the insect are left attached to the skin. The best way to do this is with tweezers, pulling it perpendicular to the skin, pulling slowly to remove it.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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