The tick population in Spain continues to increase, a growth fired by the progressive increase in temperatures, which causes these parasites to be active for more months of the year, claims the National Association of Environmental Health Companies (Anecpla).
In Spain, up to twenty species of ticks have been detected, "some of which can transmit serious diseases such as Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, Lyme disease or viral encephalitis," the association warns.
Ticks thrive mainly in fields, in areas with vegetation and animals, but can also be found in parks, gardens, swimming pools and even on the beach.
Doctors and vets from all over Spain have been reporting an increase in cases of tick bites.
The head of Anecpla, Milagros Fernández de Lezeta, said: “the progressive increase in temperatures has turned Spain into a country as conducive to the spread of ticks and its population has not stopped increasing in recent years. It is essential that the necessary control protocols against this species are activated and that, both from the authorities, the environmental health sector and the public themselves.
“Ticks are often found in tall grasses, making it easy for them to attach to both animals and people when they pass by, to feed on your blood” explains Fernández de Lezeta.
She advises to “use suitable protective clothing, which leaves as little skin surface as possible visible. After visiting areas where the parasite could be found, it is important to check both the clothing, the skin and hair – particularly areas such as the armpits, neck, waist and head. If you find a tick, carefully remove it whole and, whenever possible, keep it for possible later analysis.
Tick bites can also lead to health complications in animals, with babesiosis and ehrlichiosis being the most common diseases that it transmits. Anecpla recommends that owners of animals, especially dogs, also take extreme precautions to avoid unwanted companions. “As it is a silent parasite that does not itch or itch, it is advisable to carry out a thorough examination of the animal after a walk through the fields or gardens,” advises Fernández de Lezeta.