THE BACTERIUM Rickettsia slovaca, which gets the second half of its name from Slovakia, is being found in Central and Western Europe more and more frequently, Rastislav Maďar, the chairman of the Forum of Contagious, Tropical and Travel Medicine informed the SITA newswire.
The bacterium is spread through tick bites. Symptoms include a red patch around the bite as well as swelling and aching in the lymph nodes. Some infected persons also experience fever and muscle aches.
The first symptoms usually show up within five to 15 days of the bite.
The bacterium has also been reported recently in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Germany, Hungary, and Switzerland, Maďar told SITA.
The disease is treatable with antibiotics, but the best protection against it is to avoid being bitten in the first place.
The bacterium Rickettsia slovaca was first identified in Slovakia in 1968. But the first confirmed case of human infection was not recorded until 1997.
18. Aug 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Ľuba Lesná from press reports