Tick-Borne Encephalitis (TBE) is a disease typically spread by ticks. Once contracted, the virus can cause swelling of the brain and spinal cord, which can result in death.
TBE is a rare disease; however, there are certain areas of the world where tick-borne encephalitis is commonly found. Some countries may even require visitors to have a vaccination against TBE before entering.
So, if you are soon to be travelling abroad, then continue reading this blog to find out more about TBE and how you can protect yourself against the virus.
The ticks that spread TBE are usually found in wooded or grassy areas of:
– Eastern Asia
– Most of Europe
– Parts of the UK
Taking part in outdoor activities, such as hiking or camping, in the above areas mentioned can increase the risk of you catching TBE.
As previously mentioned, TBE is typically spread by ticks. Humans can contract TBE by:
– A bite from an infected tick
– Consuming unpasteurised dairy products from infected animals
To reduce the risk of being bitten you should:
– Use insect repellent
– Wear long trousers and long-sleeved tops when walking outdoors
– Avoid travelling to areas where TBE is found between April and November
Not everyone who is bitten by a tick will become infected (not all ticks are infected with the disease).
Additionally, most people who do become infected will not experience any symptoms.
If you have been bitten by a tick, or suspect that you may have been bitten because you have a circular rash on your skin, then seek out medical attention as soon as possible.
The main symptoms of tick-borne encephalitis include:
– Loss of appetite
Rare symptoms of tick-borne encephalitis include:
– Swelling of the brain and spinal cord, which can lead to death
If you will be travelling to any of the areas previously mentioned, where TBE is more commonly found, then it is recommended that you receive the tick-borne encephalitis vaccination.
The first injection of the TBE vaccine will need to be taken at least one month before you travel.
Two injections of the TBE vaccine can protect you from the disease for up to 12 months. A third injection can protect you for up to 3 years.
TBE is diagnosed by testing the spinal fluid for specific antibodies, such as IgM antibodies.
These antibodies usually appear within six days of being infected. Additionally, they can only be detected when neurological symptoms are present.
Most people who catch TBE will recover; however, some may suffer from long-term problems, such as issues with speech, balance, and coordination, or even paralysis.
Now that you know more about tick-borne encephalitis and how serious the disease can be, we hope that you will consider booking a vaccination against the disease.
The Travel Health Clinic offers different types of vaccinations against a variety of diseases. If you would like to be vaccinated against a certain virus, then find your nearest branch, and book your vaccination appointment today.