Ticks present in almost all city parks in Germany, risk of diseases
Ticks have also arrived in cities across Germany. According to a new nationwide study, ticks are present in city parks across the country, presenting a risk of certain diseases, including tick-borne encephalitis and Lyme disease.
Ticks found in city parks across Germany
Most people are aware of the risk of picking up ticks while walking in wooded areas or long grass in the countryside and make efforts to protect themselves, but in inner city areas, the risk might not seem so apparent.
According to a new study by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, ticks are also increasingly apparent in city parks across Germany. For the nationwide survey, experts looked for the little critters in 32 city parks - two in each federal state - and found them in almost every single one.
Two parks in Saxony-Anhalt were named the frontrunners after more than 101 ticks were found within a 300-square-metre area. In Bremen, they found 85 ticks, 53 in Hamburg and 46 in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. 18 ticks were found in Brandenburg and just five in Berlin.
While this shows that some parts of the country are bigger “tick hot spots” than others, it also demonstrates that the bloodsuckers are present across the country, in the north as well as the south, and present a small but real risk of transmitting dangerous diseases like tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) and Lyme disease.
TBE vaccination recommended for people living in tick risk areas
The Robert Koch Institute now identifies more than 40 percent of all urban and rural districts in Germany as TBE risk areas, and recommends anyone who lives in one of these areas to get the TBE vaccination. Most of these risk areas are in southern and central Germany, but more and more are being added in the north and the east.
TBE is a disease that attacks the central nervous system and in severe cases can cause permanent damage such as paralysis, swallowing and speech disorders. Tick expert Dr Jochen Süss emphasised in a statement that “anyone who has not yet been vaccinated should go to the doctor and get advice on TBE vaccination.”