What is it?
Tick-Borne Encephalitis (TBE) is a viral disease transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected tick
TBE can cause swelling of the brain (encephalitis) and swelling of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord (meningitis)
What are the symptoms?
Fever and symptoms involving the central nervous system (eg: meningitis, encephalitis and possibly paralysis)
Only 1/3 of people infected with TBE show symptoms
How can I contract Tick-Borne Encephalitis?
You can get TBE if you are bitten by an infected tick
Ticks live in underbrush and either crawl onto or jump onto their victims
Ticks generally bite from April-November with peak biting activity in the summer
You also risk exposure to the TBE virus if you consume unpasteurized dairy products from infected goats, sheep or cows
Where can I contract it?
Different sub-types of TBE are found in different parts of central and Eastern Europe and some regions of Asia
TBE-infected ticks are found in the moist uncultivated undergrowth in parks, forests, woods, grasslands, riverside meadows and marshes
What vaccines are available?
FSME-IMMUN vaccine is licensed in Canada but is currently unavailable
TBE vaccine is not available in Canada
How can I prevent TBE?
Avoid tick-infected areas, use repellents, wear protective clothing and avoid consuming unpasteurized dairy products
Even if you have been vaccinated for TBE ticks do spread other serious bacterial and viral diseases
Vaccination is the best way to prevent TBE
What is the treatment?
There is no cure for TBE
Treatment consists of supportive medical care and management of complications