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Tick Borne Encephalitis.

Tick Borne Encephalitis

The infection is transmitted to human via a bite from an infected ixodes tick. Less commonly the disease can be spread through drinking unpasteurised milk from infected animals, especially goats. The disease is maintained in the wild by birds, deer, rodents and sheep. Tick-borne encephalitis can be found in the far eastern part of the former USSR and extending across into China. It can also be found in European Russia, Austria, Hungary, the Balkans, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Scandinavia. The following links have maps showing the areas where infected ticks are found.

Most human infections are contracted during outdoor leisure pursuits such as forestry working, camping, orienteering, rambling and mountain biking during tick season (spring to early autumn). The clinical features of TBE are similar to those of many other types of meningitis and/or encephalitis. Most affected individuals dully recover following an acute viral illness. Severe disease can cause permanent neurological damage and some patients require long-term rehabilitation. About 1 in 100 patients will die from TBE. There is no specific treatment available.

Prevention

Tick bite avoidance is very important e.g. tucking trousers into socks, using gaiters, insect repellents and sticking to designated pathways. The vaccine available in the UK is called TicoVac and TicoVac Junior for children. As with all vaccines the clinical staff will advise during the travel consultation on all aspects of the procedure including vaccine dose schedule, contraindications to vaccination, any possible interactions with other vaccines or medications, the range of possible adverse effects from the specific vaccine and any queries. Written product information to retain for reference is also provided.