Russia's Champion among juniors in ball hockey Yevgeny Khvalko died of a tick bite, the Ball Hockey Federation said.
The 17-year-old athlete fought for his life for several weeks, but eventually died of complications caused by tick-borne encephalitis.
The athlete's family is unable to comment on their loss. The deceased is the son of the midfielder and coach of Kuzbass, the five-time champion of Russia in ball hockey, Yevgeny Khvalko.
The 2022/2023 was a breakthrough season for Yevgeny Khvalko Jr. In April, he won the Russian Championship in Irkutsk. The young man wanted to devote his whole life to sports, but his dreams were not destined to come true.
The bite of an encephalitic tick is very dangerous for humans. The victim does not feel anything at first, but later develops severe muscle pains, fever, cramps, vomiting, mental fuzziness, motor retardation, or, conversely, chaotic movements, hallucinations.
The disease affects the nervous system, which poses a high risk of paralysis.
The disease may lead to persistent neurological and psychiatric complications of the patient. A lethal outcome is also possible. Humans and animals can be infected with tick-borne encephalitis through the bites of Ixodidae ticks (aka hard ticks).
Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE, spring-summer tick-borne meningoencephalitis) is a natural focal viral infection characterised by fever, intoxication, deterioration to the gray matter of the brain, membranes of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis, meningoencephalitis, encephalomyelitis).
According to statistics, six out of a hundred ticks are carriers of the virus. At the same time, only 2-6 percent of bitten humans may contract the infection from the insect.
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