The Consequences of Arshan Walk: A Tick Bite and How to Deal with It at Baikal Lake

We spent four days in Irkutsk, but could not see this city as we wanted to. There are actually several reasons. One of them is nearby attractions such as Listvyanka and Taltsy to which we dedicated quite some time. The second reason is the fact that Victor’s colleague and friend Dima lives in Irkutsk. With him and his nice and hospitable family, we also spent some time. We will tell about these things later, but today we are starting with the third reason – ticks.

Tick bite. What to do?

Ticks crawled on Victor during our walks in Arshan. We lost a lot of nerves, time and money to eliminate this problem.
However, let’s start from the beginning. The next day after returning from Arshan, Victor found this kind of a passenger on his body.
tick in body

Of course, we were a little scared, because this happened to us for the first time, and we had had no vaccinations. In addition, we had not seen any warnings related to this anywhere. We called Dima and found out that there is a special centre to solve such problems. We took a taxi and rushed to the Center of Diagnosis and Prevention of Tick-borne Infections located at Karl Marx Street, 3. Next to Marx, of course, there was a monument to Lenin.
Lenin monument

In the Center, we found decent lines: it turned out that it was a tick season. Locals were laughing and joking; probably it was not their first time here. The organization here was like a straight conveyor at the highest level: registration – payment – nurse, taking out the tick – goodbye. We paid 1200 roubles: 250 for taking out the tick and 950 for the analysis for Lyme disease, encephalitis and something else there. If you want an additional research for some rare diseases, then it will cost you another 1700 roubles. Add doctor’s appointment with a consultation for 500 roubles in case of a positive test.
how to deal with ticks

Upset we went home to take a camera and find … another tick on the other side of Victor’s body. On the well-trodden path, but by public transport, we went back to the Center. We even laughed a bit there: they took a tick out from one side and put it into the other one. What a business!
As a result, we spent all day seeing really nothing. The test results were to be ready only the next day, so we planned a trip around the Circus-Baikal Railway. Let’s be honest, we did not succeed in admiring the landscapes, because all thoughts were about stupid ticks.
Circus-Baikal Railway

Naturally, our worst expectations were proved: an infection of borreliosis was detected in one tick. We seem to be even lucky: encephalitis is more difficult to treat. The next day in Irkutsk we went to the Centre again. Victor visited a doctor who prescribed taking Doxycycline tablets for about a week. Then we needed to observe the site of the bite: the circles around it are one of the most frequent signs of the disease. After three months, he needed to repeat the analysis. We seem to have done everything possible to prevent the problems with a bite; however, a very unpleasant health problem surfaced a year later and the suspicion fell on the infection.
what to do with ticks bite

Prevention of tick infections.

Therefore, take care of the prevention of tick infections with all seriousness. It is better to think in advance, to spend a little time and money before instead of spoiling your vacation while still spending money. As it turned out, we did not have sufficient knowledge about this problem, so we share the advice that we got already in the Centre.
It is obvious, that you need to do vaccinations against encephalitis in advance. For the Lyme disease, proper vaccinations do not exist, but as you have already read, it is treated quite easily. What you cannot say about encephalitis. There, if you are infected and miss the moment, you can reach the worst consequences.
If, for some reason, you are not vaccinated, you can buy a special repellent. Before hiking, you spread this aerosol on your clothes. This must paralyze tick’s paws and they should simply fall down. We bought such a thing only after having been biten. When Nastya sprayed it on the balcony, even in the room it was impossible to breathe.
The last, but also important thing is clothing. We did not walk in shorts and T-shirts, but we did not know that the pants should be pushed into the socks, and the shirt – into the pants. This is because ticks crawl from below. Then they find a warm place and dig into you. In our case, they crawled to the straps of the backpack.
It is also desirable to wear light clothing and make a periodic inspection of each other. Yes, you will look a little bit strange, but the risk will significantly decrease. If you prepare it in advance, then the outfit will look much better than Victor’s one. At the photo he already learned the lesson and used it in the Mongolian forests.
Hiking in Mongolia

We hope that our story and advice will help you to avoid troubles with ticks and thus not spoil your holiday impressions. In the next story, we will definitely return to the sights of Irkutsk.

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