Thursday, June 12, 2014

Getting Bit By a Tick

Getting bit by a tick in Russia is apparently very serious business. In the US, you pull the tick off, and if you get sick later, go see a doctor.

In Russia, you get rushed to the “tick clinic” (I couldn’t make this up). There they give you antibiotics (semi normal in the US according to the internet). But the best part is you have to come back after 48 hours of discovering the tick to see if you got Siberian Encephalitis.

According to the Russians this is an infection and you need to get a shot of immunoglobulin to help prevent it.

According to English language, credible government health sponsored, websites you literally can’t do anything to stop the Siberian Encephalitis and in fact, the immunoglobulin can make it worse. From what I can gather, if you get this version of encephalitis you have a 20-40% shot of dying from complications, so it is pretty serious. BUT it is also a virus, which means we can’t do anything about it except treat the symptoms.

Anyway, I was negative for the Siberian Enchpalitis and get to go back in mid-July to see about Lyme disease (which is another difference between the US and Russia. In the US you just wait to see if you get it. And by the time Russia checks, you would already have the symptoms). 

Healthcare is different in every country, and I’m sure the Russians would have a field day with how we treat tick bites, but it’s always an adventure to go get yourself checked out in another country!

See you around the globe!

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