Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is a potentially serious viral infection that is spread by ticks. Ticks are small arachnids that feed on the blood of animals, including humans. The disease is endemic in many parts of Europe, including Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and the Balkan countries. With warmer weather upon us, many people are heading outdoors for walks and hikes. It is essential to be aware of the risks associated with TBE and to take steps to protect oneself.
Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is a viral infection that transmits by ticks. The virus belongs to the Flaviviridae family, which includes the viruses that cause yellow fever, dengue fever, and West Nile fever. TBE can cause severe neurological symptoms such as fever, headaches, muscle aches, and vomiting. In severe cases, TBE can cause meningitis, encephalitis, and even death.
How is TBE transmitted?
TBE is transmitted through the bite of an infected tick. The primary vectors of the virus are Ixodes ricinus and Ixodes persulcatus ticks, which commonly found in wooded areas and forests. The virus is present in the saliva of infected ticks and transmits to the host during the tick’s blood meal. It is important to note that not all ticks carry the virus, and not all tick bites result in infection.
Symptoms Of TBE
The symptoms of TBE can range from mild to severe. In some cases, people infected with the virus may not exhibit any symptoms. However, in other cases, the symptoms can be severe and include fever, headaches, muscle aches, and vomiting. In severe cases, TBE can cause meningitis, encephalitis, and even death.
The best way to prevent TBE is to avoid tick bites. If you are walking or hiking in wooded areas or forests, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants tucked into socks to prevent ticks from attaching to your skin. Use insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, or IR3535 on exposed skin. Check yourself and your companions for ticks frequently, especially after being in wooded areas. If you find a tick, remove it promptly with tweezers, grasping it as close to the skin as possible and pulling it straight out.
Tick-borne encephalitis is a serious disease that spread by ticks. It is important to take steps to protect oneself when walking or hiking in wooded areas or forests. By wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, using insect repellent, and checking for ticks frequently, you can greatly reduce your risk of contracting TBE. Enjoy the outdoors safely and be aware of the risks associated with tick bites.