Tick-Borne Encephalitis

Tick-Borne Encephalitis (TBE)

Nasty little bug which attacks travellers in Europe and Asia through tick bites. It causes flu-like symptoms, which might become more serious and can be fatal if left untreated.

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Key Facts around the Tick-Borne Encephalities (TBE)

The number of tick-borne encephalitis cases is tallied annually in Austria. A fluctuating trend has been observed in recent years. Fatalities have occurred periodically.1

  • How do people catch this disease?

    Being bitten by a tick carrying the virus which causes the disease.3

  • Which countries are affected?

    Infected ticks are found in many countries in Europe and Asia (see map).2 Ticks can be found in both rural and urban locations, including many popular destinations for outdoor activities and tourism.2

  • What are the symptoms?

    Fever, headache, muscle pain, fatigue.1

  • How serious is the disease?

    Most people recover fully, but in rare cases infection leads to inflammation of the tissue surrounding the brain (meningitis) and the brain itself (encephalitis).3

  • Can I reduce the chances of catching the Tick-Borne Encephalitis (TBE)?

    You can take the following precautions to help reduce your risk of infection:

    • Visit a travel health clinic to assess the risks of the planned trip and get advice about available vaccinations and further precautions. 
      Click here to find your nearest travel health clinic and make an appointment: https://www.reisemedizincheck.at/en/find-a-travel-health-service
    • Use a recommended insect repellent containing either Icaridin (e.g Moskito Guard®, for more information please see https://www.valneva.at/en/moskito-guard) or DEET.4
    • Wear appropriate clothing (e.g long-sleeved clothes and long trousers).4
    • Check every day for ticks that may have attached themselves to your body. Carefully remove any that you find using a tick remover or tweezers. Gently grip the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull it away without twisting or crushing. Then wash your skin with water and soap and apply an antiseptic cream.5
    • Avoid consumption of unpasteurised dairy products in risk areas.3

  1. Gesundheit.GV.AT. FSME-Krankheit (Frühsommer-Meningoenzephalitis) Online available: https://www.gesundheit.gv.at/krankheiten/immunsystem/zecken-krankheiten/fsme (Last accessed October 2022)
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. tick-borne-encephalitis.geographic-distribution. March 2022. Online available: https://www.cdc.gov/tick-borne-encephalitis/geographic-distribution/index.html (Last accessed October 2022)
  3. World Health Organization. Health topics.Tick-borne encephalitis. September 2020. Online available: https://www.who.int/health-topics/tick-born-encephalitis (Last accessed October 2022)
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yellow Book 2020. Chapter 3 Environmental Hazards & Other Noninfectious Health Risks. Mosquitoes, Ticks, & Other Arthropods. Online verfügbar: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2020/noninfectious-health-risks/mosquitoes-ticks-and-other-arthropods (Last accessed Oktober 2022)
  5. Gesundheit.GV.AT.FSME-Krankheit (Frühsommer-Meningoencephalitis) Zecken entfernen - So macht man es richtig | Gesundheitsportal. Online available: https://www.gesundheit.gv.at/krankheiten/immunsystem/zecken-krankheiten/zecken-entfernen.html (Last accessed October 2022)

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