March 2, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

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Fewer reports of tick bites in 2022, stay alert!  / News

Fewer reports of tick bites in 2022, stay alert! / News

In 2022, a third fewer tick bites were reported than in previous years. To be able to better explain these kinds of differences, researchers from WUR and RIVM have initiated a major study viaatekenradar.nl. This gives them more information about the 1.5 million tick bites that occur in the Netherlands each year.

Most tick bites are in Gelderland
In 2022, the number of bites is below the average in recent years in all provinces of the Netherlands, except for Flevoland. Fewer tick bites have also been reported in Belgium. In the Netherlands, most reports came from Gelderland, just as in 2021. 887 reports came from this province. North Brabant and North Holland ranked second and third with 554 reports and 490 reports.

Number of tick bites relative to population size
The number of reported tick bites is highest relative to population size in Drenthe (75/100,000 inhabitants), followed by Gelderland (43/100,000) and Flevoland (42/100,000). South Holland ranks last with 13 bites per 100,000 inhabitants.

Where does tick occur?
Ticks can be found all over the country, in forests, parks, highlands, sand dunes or in the garden. They are found mainly near trees or shrubs, in tall grass or among dead leaves. Ticks can bite people’s skin. A tick bite can make you sick. In the Netherlands, ticks can transmit Lyme disease and, in rare cases, tick-borne encephalitis (TBE).

Verification is important
Check your body and clothing for ticks, and your skin for tick bites if you’ve been outside. Ticks can attach anywhere, but they prefer the groin, the backs of the knees, the armpits, the buttocks, the edges of underwear, behind the ears and around the hairline of the neck. Do you have a tick bite? Quickly remove ticks. The longer the tick is in your skin, the more likely it is to transmit pathogens.

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to the doctor?
Go to the doctor if you have any of the following complaints after a tick bite:

  • Discoloration of the skin at the site of the tick bite, which increases in size. This can appear up to three months after the tick bite.
  • Fever and possibly muscle and joint pain, in the first weeks after a tick bite.
  • Sometimes joint complaints, skin complaints, neurological complaints, or heart complaints may appear. This can happen if the early symptoms of Lyme disease are not treated with antibiotics. But these complaints are also sometimes the first manifestation of the disease.