Oak processionary moth: What to do when contact?

The caterpillars of the oak processionary moth cause in the summer, often strong complaints, for example, the skin, which can affect the eyes and lungs. The risk that trees are infested by these insects – and thus also the risk of people differs regionally.

The caterpillars are littered with hairs of several hundreds of thousands of Combustion, which can be detached easily, and with the Wind in the vicinity of the trees can distribute. In case of skin contact, itching, hives or skin rashes occur. The hairs are inhaled, it can cause respiratory problems. You get into the eye, is often a conjunctivitis as a result. Also complaints such as dizziness, Nausea, fever, or chills may occur. The symptoms often occur only over night.

"As first aid I recommend cool envelopes. In the case of severe itching prescription can help free medicines from the pharmacy quickly,” says Dr. Hannes Müller, member of the Executive Committee of the Federal chamber of pharmacists. He advises his patients to a cream or a Gel with cortisone and in addition to antihistamines in tablet form. "If you have trouble Breathing, or eye occur, this is not a case for self-medication more. Then the pharmacist refer the patient to a doctor." The complaints often take one to two weeks.

To protect yourself, it is best to try to infested trees, often oaks, or to avoid the forest areas. If this is not possible, keep as much skin covered. After a possible contact with the caterpillar hairs, one in the shower is best, washed the hair and dried with a hair dryer. The clothing immediately and change to a 60 degree wash. Also, cars were in the vicinity of an infested tree, cleans it carefully inside and outside, to come in contact with the burning hair.

BAK

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