If you have started to prepare your excursions and nature walks this summer, you may be worried about information on new types of ticks that can transmit diseases. In this case, be careful, because as with many health issues, rumors and false information circulating about ticks. We make the point on the true and the false about this arachnid that is gaining ground in the country.
One-legged tick struck out: danger signal: TRUE
For about five years, a variety of tick, the Hyalomma marginatum, is located on the shores of the Mediterranean. Its characteristics : of the legs are striped and quite long, mouth parts elongated, a body size ranging from eight millimeters up to two centimeters, would allow it to differentiate itself from its congeners. The introduction of this tick is progressing in the territory. According to Cirad, since 2015 it has been regularly observed on the mediterranean shore of continental France.
It can transmit the virus haemorrhagic fever Crimean-Congo. However, this virus has not yet been detected in France. It can also, as for the other ticks, carry Lyme disease, an infectious pathology characterized by pain, which can go up to the paralysis of the members. An application called Citique , allows you to report the species of tick, and others.
If you see a nest of ticks, it is necessary to burn: FALSE
For the past few years is circulating on the Internet a photo of a large nest of eggs found in the wild with the description: “This is a nest of ticks. There are more and more and this threatens the lives of many animals in the forest! You should burn it immediately!”. According to specialists, the photo does not show a nest of ticks: the egg of the tick have nothing to see in color and in size with those shown by the photo. In addition, it would be rather unlikely to find a real nest of ticks: “egg-laying occur rarely in nature because they are in the litter of leaves and have a good mimicry with vegetation,” says Nathalie Boulanger, a teacher-researcher in parasitology at the university of Strasbourg, and entomologist, medical to the National Reference Center for Lyme.
To cap off the fake news, the recommendation to get rid of by putting fire to it, in addition to being reckless, because you may cause a forest fire, is inefficient, because it is not the destruction of a clutch to help control the tick population. It would be necessary to adopt a more comprehensive approach.
Ticks giant carnivores?: FALSE
Since a few years, circulate false information concerning the presence in France of a tick asian carnivore. It could resurface again on the social networks. We recall here that it is a false information published at the start by a site info, humorous, that it is not necessary to take for real information.
Daniel Christmann, department of infectious and tropical diseases at the university hospital of Strasbourg, has also warned about the circulation of this hoax that there is no tick-asian : “those found in Asia are the same as ours. The ticks have different genres – ixodes ricinus, ixodes scapularis, etc., but, they are in Asia or in France, there is no difference.”
Of the oil to smother the tick, soap, or ether to remove ticks?: FALSE
“Put a drop of cooking oil to the base of a tick to remove it, as well as the cotton pad soaked in soap or ether to numb the tick” are a few examples of advice that is erroneous and counter-productive. Pascale Frey-Klett, director of research at the national Institute of agronomic research (Inra) and head of the program CiTique explains that any external substance may stress the tick and increase the risk that it rejects the infectious agents in the body of the person or animal stung”.
The u.s. army, she participated in the spread of Lyme disease ? : FALSE
A book would be at the origin of the information: “Bitten: The Secret History of Lyme Desease and Biological Weapons”. Written by Kris Newby, science writer, he explains that the epidemic has its origin in a laboratory of biological tests on animals the us government located on Plum Island. Ticks used as biological weapons would have escaped from the centre and would have contaminated the population in the surrounding area.
According to Rick Ostfeld of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and co-director of the Tick Project, quoted by The Point, this rumor is absurd: “Very clearly, this pathogen is old and has not been able to be created in a laboratory in the middle of the Twentieth century. Lyme disease is also very common in Europe and elsewhere. The phenomenon of medical Lyme disease has been described in Europe in the Nineteenth and early Twentieth century, even if we did not know what organism caused this disease.”
Unfortunately, the House of representatives of the United States has given a new impetus to this rumor, ordering, Thursday, July 11, 2019, the inspector general of the u.s. department of defense to examine whether the Pentagon had conducted between 1950 and 1975, experiments designed to use ticks as biological weapons. The survey is open.