Tick-Borne Encephalitis

Tick-Borne Encephalitis

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 Fact

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 these disease?

    Being bitten by a tick carrying the virus which causes the disease.2

  • Which countries are affected?

    Infected ticks are found in many countries in Europe and Asia (see map). There is greater risk in rural and forested areas.2

  • What are the symptoms?

    Fever, headache, muscle pain, fatigue.1

  • How serious is the disease?

    Most people recover fully in around 8 days. But in rare cases infection leads to inflammation of the tissue surrounding the brain (meningitis) and the brain itself (encephalitis).2

  • Can I reduce the chances of catching the disease?

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

    • Visit your nearest convenient specialist travel health clinic for a risk assessment before your trip
    • Avoid places – like long grass – where ticks live3
    • Use a recommended insect repellent containing either 20% Icaridin (e.g Moskito Guard®) or 50% DEET.1
    • Wear appropriate clothing (e.g long-sleeved clothes and long trousers)3
    • 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.1
  1. Gesundheit.GV.AT. FSME-Krankheit (Frühsommer-Meningoenzephalitis) https://www.gesundheit.gv.at/krankheiten/immunsystem/zecken-krankheiten/fsme
    (Last accessed June 2018)
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yellow Book 2018. Chapter 3 Infectious Diseases Related to Travel. Tickborne
    Encephalitis. May 2017. Available online: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2018/infectious-diseases-related-to-travel/tickborne-encephalitis (Last accessed May 2018)
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yellow Book 2018. Chapter 2 The Pre-Travel Consultation. Counseling & Advice for Travelers. Protection against Mosquitoes, Ticks, & Other Arthropods. May 2017. Available online: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2018/the-pre-travel-consultation/protection-against-mosquitoes-ticks-other-arthropods (Last accessed May 2018)

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