Tick Borne Encephalitis is a potentially fatal disease that is spread via the bite of an infected tick. The Tick Borne Encephalitis disease is present in parts of Europe, including Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Scandinavia and the Baltics. It is also present in parts of Russia and Asia including China and Japan. Whilst Tick Borne Encephalitis is mainly found in rural areas, more recently cases have been springing up in cities due to infected ticks living in urban parks.
A tick is a small parasite that is similar to a tiny spider. They can latch onto the skin and feed from your blood and it is during this process that the Tick Borne Encephalitis infection can be transmitted. If you do spot a tick on your skin it is best to remove them using tweezers as quickly as possible and clean the area thoroughly.
- Muscle and joint pain.
These symptoms normally last for around 8 days before clearing up and treatment is centred around controlling the symptoms. There is no specific cure for Tick Borne Encephalitis. Paracetamol can be given to manage high temperature, aches and pains. Ibuprofen can also be given in conjunction with Paracetamol to help reduce any muscle aches associated with Tick Borne Encephalitis. It is essential that an infected person rests and remains well hydrated whilst they recover.
If the Tick Borne Encephalitis virus spreads to the brain then it can turn into a more serious form of the disease. Advanced symptoms include:
- Not being able to speak.
- Confusion and disorientation.
At this stage hospitalisation is usually necessary and recovery time may be extended to a few weeks, depending on the severity of the person affected. Around one in one hundred cases of humans contracting Tick Borne Encephalitis are fatal.
Although it may sound somewhat obvious, avoiding contracting the Tick Borne Encephalitis disease in the first place is always going to be the safest approach.
There are a number of things you can do to prevent contraction:
- Wear long loose clothing and tuck bottoms of trousers into socks to deter ticks from crawling up the leg.
- Soak your clothes in a solution called Permethrin (you can purchase online). This solution makes sure that it kills any bug that comes in contact with it immediately.
- Use an insect repellent on any exposed skin.
- Be sure to check your skin regularly for ticks and remove them immediately. They inject a mild anaesthetic when they bite so you might not always feel it!
There is a Tick Borne Encephalitis vaccine that is available to both adults and children and is highly effective. Whilst vaccination is not necessarily advised for all travellers to Europe, it may be advised for those planning on camping or spending extended periods in affected areas including some urban areas. The Tick Borne Encephalitis vaccination is given as a course of 3. The first 2 doses must be given at least 2 weeks apart so ensure you prepare at least 2 weeks before you travel. The third dose is then given 5 months and later and this final dose then ensures the vaccines lasts 3 years. After completing the course once, only booster doses are required in the future, so it is worth completing the course if you intend to travel in the future. Information about all our vaccine prices can be found here.
Call us to book your appointment and reserve your Tick Borne Encephalitis vaccine now!