When travelling to a new place like Europe for business, research purposes or recreation, there are some diseases to look out for. One of such diseases is the tick-borne encephalitis. This disease is worth avoiding because it is a serious disease. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to get vaccinated or to get immunisation against this disease before your trip to any part of Europe.
Tick-borne encephalitis is a severe viral infection. It is passed to humans when they are bitten by ticks. The disease is caused by the tick-borne encephalitis virus of the family Flaviviridae.
As earlier mentioned, the virus is transmitted to the body through tick bites. Often, the tick remains attached to your body for days after biting you. The virus can equally be ingested through the consumption of unpasteurised milk. It cannot be transferred from one person to another through direct contact.
Infection with the virus comes with its symptoms that begin to manifest at about 2 days after being bitten, up till the 28th day, and can last for a week. Symptoms include;
If not treated within this period, it can break out into a second phase. This second phase brings more serious symptoms and effects like paralysis and even death. The disease severity increases with the patient ‘s age.
Death rarely occurs with the tick-borne encephalitis, in about 1% of infected people. About one-tenth of infected people end up developing long term effects like personality changes, loss of memory, problems with speech and even emotional changes.
Tick-borne encephalitis is common in Europe, especially the Northern, Central and Eastern part of Europe. It is also prevalent in other areas like Eastern Asia and Eastern Russia. The ticks are mostly found in wetlands or forested areas, usually close to lakes and rivers.
If you are planning on a trip to Europe anytime soon, we would advise you to get vaccinated against the infection of tick-borne encephalitis. The vaccination drug is called Ticovac and is taken in the form of injections. It is taken in three doses. The first two doses are taken 1 – 3 months apart, and the last dose is administered from 5 -12 months later.
Anyone above the age of 1 can get vaccinated. However, for children or people below the age of 16, there is a vaccine for them called Ticovac junior.
At The Travel Clinic, we are always available to help you get vaccinated against tick-borne encephalitis. You can visit our clinic or contact us for your vaccination.
We at The Travel Clinic have recorded side effects to the use of the vaccine. However, it is nothing serious and includes minor pain and some flu-like symptoms.
The cost of Ticovac is different from the cost of Ticovac junior. Ticovac costs £145 per dose, and for Ticovac junior, it costs £75 per dose.
Whenever you are outdoors in Europe, always make sure to dress up properly and cover up the skin on your arms and legs. You may not know when the tick bites you because it secretes chemicals to numb the area it bites.
Another way of preventing this disease is through immunisation. This prevents you from getting infected. Always check your body for ticks if you are in a risk area, and also avoid unpasteurised dairy and its products. If you notice any rash or you notice you have been bitten, call us immediately for medical advice.
Planning on travelling out for a while? Do not hesitate to visit our clinic, or call us on 02037457527 to get vaccinated for protection against tick-borne encephalitis.