What is Tick-borne encephalitis?

Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is a human viral infectious disease that affects the central nervous system. It occurs in parts of Europe and Asia. It is transmitted through the bites of infected ticks. Ticks are usually found in wooded areas. These ticks are indeed found in the UK

General Diagnosis

What are the symptoms of Tick-borne encephalitis?

Approximately ⅔ of people who are infected by TBE will not have any symptoms. However, symptoms can start up to 28 days after infection. Symptoms are: 

  • Fever 
  • Fatigue/tiredness 
  • Headache 
  • Muscle aches 
  • Nausea 
  • General unwellness 

These symptoms last around five days. For around a Week to a month, there will then be no symptoms. After this time, an illness can follow which can be fatal that infects the brain and the spinal cord. Symptoms include: 

  • Stiff neck
  • Sensitivity to bright lights
  • Being sick 
  • Headache 
  • Disorientation, confusion, personality changes or drowsiness/unresponsiveness 
  • Difficulties speaking 
  • Seizures

How is Tick-borne encephalitis diagnosed?

Tick-borne encephalitis is diagnosed through the detection of IgM antibodies in cerebrospinal fluid gathered through spinal tap. An ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) is a plate-based assay technique used to detect certain peptides, proteins, antibod es and hormones which could denote tick-borne encephalitis infection.

Is Tick-borne encephalitis preventable?

Tick-borne encephalitis is preventable. The vaccine is between 96% – 99% effective. Getting the vaccine in combination with the following additional measures can assist in preventing Tick-borne encephalitis:

  •  Wear light coloured clothing so you can easily spot ticks and brush them off you when spotted
  •  Use insect repellants on both your skin and your clothes (DEET is best)
  •  Stick to well trodden pathways where possible 
  • Cover your skin and tuck your trousers into your socks if you are walking outdoors and especially in wooded areas

Anna Pharmacy has the Tick-borne encephalitis vaccine available in Sutton, Hackbridge, Wallington, Carshalton and Croydon.

Tick-Borne Encephalitis