Tick Borne Encephalitis Vaccine

What is Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) and where can it be found?

Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is an infection that effects the nervous system, caused by tick bites. The infected tick spreads the virus through their saliva. Ticks that spread it are found in most of Europe, Asia, some parts of the UK and Russia.

Ticks can be found in forests, woods, shrublands and other grassy areas. If you are hiking, camping or fishing in these areas, you are more at risk of a tick bite. The risk of getting seriously ill with a tick bite is low.

If you are going to a country where the infection is common and if you are planning on doing outdoor activities when you get there, consider having the TBE vaccine.

Symptoms of Tick-borne encephalitis:

Sever form of TBE may include:

  • A fever
  • Seizures
  • Severe headache
  • In and out of consciousness

If these symptoms appear, contact your doctor.

How to prevent Tick-borne encephalitis?

Try to avoid tick bites to lower the risk of contracting TBE. Tips to reduce tick bites include:

  • Cover your arms with long sleeve tops
  • Wear long trousers and tuck them into your socks
  • Use insect repellent on your skin and clothes (choose a repellent with DEET)
  • Avoid walking through woodland and stick to paths where possible
  • Wear light coloured clothing so ticks are easier to spot
  • Check your skin and clothing after being outdoors

How do you spot or remove ticks?

  • A tick can be hard to spot so check the skin thoroughly
  • If the tick bites you they will get bigger as they feed off your blood
  • To remove a tick, use tweezers and grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Slowly pull upwards and dispose it. Immediately clean the bite with antiseptic.

Is there a tick-borne encephalitis vaccine?

For full protection, the vaccination requires a course of 3 injections. The TBE vaccine is available for adults and children over the age of 1.

The second dose is given 1 to 3 months after the first and provides immunity for about a year.

A third dose, given 5 to 12 months after the second, provides immunity for up to 3 years.

How much does the tick-borne encephalitis vaccine cost?

The TBE vaccination costs £65, available at selected Day Lewis Pharmacies.

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