Tick-borne encephalitis

Latest update: - Authors: Mieke Croughs, Ula Maniewski-Kelner

Tick-borne Encephalitis is a viral infection that is transmitted by ticks. It is also called Frühsommer meningoenzephalitis (FSME).

Infection takes place immediately after the bite of a larva (0.5-1 mm), nymph (1-1.5 mm) or adult tick (3-10 mm). In other words, quick removal of ticks will not prevent infection.

In rare cases, infection can take place via ingestion of unpasteurised milk(products).

Disease symptoms (fever, fatigue, headache) can occur 3 to 28 days after the infection.

The disease usually causes mild symptoms. Sometimes neurological symptoms can occur, which can result in permanent disability or even death. A variant of the disease with a higher mortality rate is found in the former USSR, particularly in Siberia.

There is no specific treatment. A person who has had this disease becomes immune to it.

Risk areas

Tick-borne Encephalitis occurs in certain forested areas in Europe through to the Far East.

The areas with infected ticks are continuing to expand in Europe. The ticks are usually active from March to November. Only a small proportion of the ticks is infected with the virus.

Prevention

Protection

Protect yourself against tick bites.

Be cautious with milk products

Do not eat or drink unpasteurised milk (products).

Vaccination

A good and safe vaccine is available.

In case of symptoms

Seek medical advice if you suffer any symptoms.

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