Tick-borne encephalitis

Coloured TEM of tick-borne encephalitis virus. © Science Photo Library

Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is a human viral infectious disease involving the central nervous system, and occurring in many parts of Europe and Asia. The virus is transmitted by the bite of infected ticks, found in woodland habitats.

TBE is most often manifested as a two-phased illness. The first phase is associated with symptoms like fever, fatigue, headache, muscular ache and nausea. The second phase involves the neurological system with symptoms of meningitis (inflammation of the membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord) and/or encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).

Like other tick-borne infectious diseases, the risk from TBE can be reduced by using insect repellents and protective clothing to prevent tick bites. A vaccine is available in some disease endemic areas.

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