Ticks Becoming Endemic In Iceland - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Ticks Becoming Endemic In Iceland

Published May 29, 2014

Photo by
Gary Alpert

An entomologist believes that ticks, a non-native species, have probably become endemic in Iceland.

Erling Ólafsson, an entomologist who spoke with radio show Reykjavík síðdegis yesterday, told listeners that while a definitive conclusion on the matter has not been reached, all evidence indicates that ticks are here to stay.

Signs of Lyme Disease – a bacterial infection that attacks the central nervous system and is spread by ticks – usually appear within three to thirty days, epidemiologist Bryndís Sigurðardóttir said. This starts with a rash at the site of the infection, and then leads to fever, chills and headaches. Antibiotics are then administered, but if these do not work, other chemical treatments need to be given.

There have as yet been no reported domestic cases of Lyme Disease but some Icelanders have contracted the disease overseas. Bryndís advises people to carefully inspect their skin after taking walks in the woods in Iceland.

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