While struggling to cope with the coronavirus, the Krasnoyarsk region in Siberia is being plagued by an unnaturally large invasion of blood-sucking ticks of a never-before-seen mutant variety.

Health officials reported that there are 428 times more ticks than usual with 214 ticks per square kilometer. A safe level of ticks is 0.5 ticks per kilometer. Medics reported 8,215 tick bites including 2,125 cases that involved children.

The fear is from tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), a viral infectious disease involving the central nervous system that is spread by tick bites. Approximately 2% of ticks carry the disease. The number of reported cases has been increasing in most countries with the number of reported human cases of TBE in all endemic regions of Europe increasing by almost 400% within the last three decades. The disease is incurable once manifested and can lead to permanent brain damage. 150,000 died globally from the disease in 2015. One-third of ticks are capable of passing on Lyme disease.

22 people have been hospitalized with possible encephalitis. In the Sverdlovsk region in the Urals, 17,242 people have been bitten by ticks, among them 4,334 children

The Russian defense ministry posted a warning about the tick invasion in Zvezda, its official newspaper.

“Mutant ticks are attacking – this is not a tabloid headline but a fact,” stated its report.

The mutant blood-sucker is a mix of two common types of Russian tick: Ixodes persulcatus known as the taiga tick and the Pavlovsky or Far Eastern tick.

Many cities reported that they have no stocks of immunoglobulin to treat patients, using their reserves for children. Khabarovsk region says it is has run out of immunoglobulin and encephalitis vaccine. New supplies are only expected in July, with people urged to stay home.


Source: Israel in the News