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Tick-Borne encephalitis

Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is a viral infection usually transmitted through the bite of an infected tick. The disease occurs in parts of central, northern and Eastern Europe, Siberia and parts of Asia. Ticks are found on forest fringes within adjacent grassland, forest glades, riverside meadows and marshland, forest plantations with brushwood and shrubbery. Ticks can also be found in parks and gardens.

Travellers to areas where TBE occurs may be at risk when walking, camping or working in woodland. In Europe, early spring through to late autumn are generally higher risk, but seasons vary according to location.

Typically, the disease occurs in two stages: a mild flu-like illness and a potentially serious infection of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). TBE is rarely fatal in Europe: however in Asia it can be fatal in up to 20 percent of cases. Long-term neurological complications are common.

Prevention

Travellers should:

Tick-borne encephalitis vaccine

TBE vaccine should be considered for:

  • All persons living in TBE risk areas
  • Those at occupational risk in risk areas: farmers, forestry workers, soldiers
  • Travellers at risk of disease
  • Laboratory workers who may be exposed to TBE
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*After the first two doses, sufficient protection can be expected for the on-going tick season (protection rate over 90 percent after the second dose)
 

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