What is tick-bourn encephalitis?
Tick-borne Encephalitis (TBE) is an infection caused by the Flaviviridae family of viruses. It is spread through the bite of a tick that is infected with this type of virus.1 The disease occurs in parts of Europe and Asia. 2
There is no specific treatment for TBE therefore vaccination against the disease is highly recommended.
The following is a summary about the disease. For further details speak to your local pharmacist or GP.
TBE is mainly transmitted through the bite of an infected Ixodes tick. Ticks are found on:
However, the virus can also be transmitted through drinking unpasteurised milk from infected animals.1
Risk of TBE is higher in:
Country specific information for TBE can be found here.3
The incubation period for TBE can be between 2-28 days. Most people who are infected with TBE virus do not develop symptoms.
Approximately 2-30% may develop symptoms. The 1st stage of the disease lasting from up to a week is characterised by non-specific flu-like illness:
The 2nd stage of TBE usually follows after 8 days with a sudden rise in temperature. It affects the central nervous system with symptoms of either:
There is no specific treatment for TBE.
The more severe symptoms require hospitalisation.
Symptom relief treatment includes:
To minimise the risk of infection with TBE:
Further details on bite avoidance can be found here.4
Check the body for ticks regularly, especially after outdoor activities. Common areas for ticks to attach are:
Remove ticks as soon as possible by using a pair of fine tipped tweezers or tick remover. Further information about removing ticks can be found here.5
Unvaccinated travellers bitten by ticks in endemic areas should seek local medical advice.6
If any signs of illness occur within 28 days of a tick bite, advice should be promptly sought from a medical practitioner.
Vaccination is recommended for:
A vaccine against TBE is available for children over 1 year and adults. The vaccine is inactivated and does not contain thiomersal. The schedule consists of 3 doses given on:
A booster dose is recommended every 3 years after the 3rd dose if the individual continues to be at risk.6
This information is taken from trusted third party websites, NaTHNaC (Travel Health Pro) and EMIS (Patient info) and use of all information has been licenced under the Open Government Licence http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3/.
Although the materials are being used/replicated under the provisions of the Open Government Licence this in no way represents endorsement of Traveljab.co.uk by NaTHNaC, Emis, Public Health England, the NHS or the Department of Health and Social Care.