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Tick-Borne Encephalitis – what you need to know:
Tick-Borne Encephalitis (TBE) is a viral infection spread to humans by the bite of a type of parasite known as a tick. The risk of infection can be minimized through immunization as well as preventing tick bites. You can protect yourself against ticks by taking common sense precautions. These precautions are shown below:
- Wear long-sleeved tops and long trousers (tucked into socks). You can also treat your clothes with insecticides.
- Apply insect repellent containing DEET to exposed skin.
- Check your body for ticks regularly. Common places to find them are the hair line, behind the ears, elbows, backs of knees, the groin and armpits
The initial symptoms of Tick-borne Encephalitis usually occur one to two weeks after a tick bite. These include the following:
- and general flu-like illness.
- Sufferers may also complain of nausea,
- muscle pain,
- lethargy and general discomfort.
Some patients may go on to develop Encephalitis, which can cause paralysis and can be fatal in some cases.
The risk of acquiring Tick-Borne Encephalitis can be reduced by getting vaccinated. The vaccine used is not a live vaccine.
Where are the risk areas?
High risk areas for TBE includes Central and Eastern Europe in countries such as Poland, Romania, Lithuania, some parts of Scandinavia, and throughout Russia.
How old to you have to be to have the vaccine?
The vaccine can be given to those aged 12 months and above.
How long does immunity last for?
A three dose course is required and affords the immunized individual protection for up to two years.