Information on Tick-Borne Encephalitis
Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is a viral infection of the central nervous system caused by bites from certain ticks.
Ixodes ricinus ticks are the chief transmitter of TBE in western and central Europe, as well as in the European section of the former USSR. These ticks are most active and thus the risk is highest from April through August.
Countries where TBE is common include Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Switzerland, Russia, Ukraine, China, Korea, Belarus, and northern Yugoslavia; lower incidence is reported in Bulgaria, Romania, Denmark, France, the Aland Islands, and the nearby Finnish coastline, as well as the coastline of southern Sweden, from Uppsala to Karlshamn.
The infection can also be acquired by consuming un-pasteurized dairy products from infected cows, goats, or sheep.
Travelers should be advised to avoid tick-infested areas, dress appropriately, and use repellents for protection against tick bites. The disease organism is injected into the bite site within a few minutes. Therefore rapid detection of the tick and its removal is important.
- DEET can be applied directly on the skin or to clothing.
- Compounds that contain permethrin should only be used on clothing, camping gear, window screens, etc. (not on the skin). Wear hats with wide brims and button shirt collars. While in endemic areas do frequent tick checks on each other.
- Take along a tick removal device (tick scoop or fine tweezers)
- Un-pasteurized dairy products should not be consumed.
- Seek immediate medical attention in case of bite.
The vaccine for prevention of Tick Borne Encephalitis is not available in stock but can be ordered in upon request.
Travelers needing this vaccine must pre pay and supply their name – date of birth – weight – sex – destination. Delivery is usually within 48 hours.
Who should consider vaccination?
Available data does not support a recommendation for the routine use of the vaccine in travelers. Unless travelers visit or work in parks, forests, fields, or pastures, or consume un-pasteurized dairy products, their risk for acquiring tick-borne encephalitis is low.
We suggest immunization for persons with a high risk of exposure.
Risks and side effects
Although the vaccine is considered effective, there may be side effects ranging from occasional local reactions (e.g., redness and swelling at the injection site) to rare instances of high fever or vomiting, and—very rarely—neuritis or other neurological complications.
- First Dose: At least 1-3 months prior to travel.
Second Dose: 1 to 3 months after the first vaccination.
Third Dose: 9 to 12 months after the second vaccination.
Most travelers only need two vaccines before leaving.
- A booster dose is given approximately 3 years after completion of the primary series.
- The vaccine is given intramuscularly.