Tick-borne Encephalitis

Tick-borne Encephalitis

Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is a viral infection that is spread by tick bites. The virus affects the nervous system. Ticks that spread it are found in parts of Europe and Asia, and some parts of the UK.

TBE is most often manifested as a two-phased illness.


The main symptoms include:

The First Phase

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscular ache 
  • Nausea 

The Second Phase

  • Inflammation of the membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord
  •  Inflammation of the brain
1. How do you catch it?

Can be spread by the bite of an infected tick. Can also spread via unpasteurised milk from infected cows, sheep and goats, although very rarely. Ticks live in forests and grassy areas. You’re more at risk of being bitten if you do activities such as hiking and camping.

2. Prevention?

Vaccination and bite avoidance are important to help prevent Tick-borne encephalitis. Avoid tick bites by wearing long sleeves, long trousers tucked into socks, strong footwear and using an effective insect repellent. If you are travelling or staying in areas where the prevalence of ticks is high, inspect your skin each day and remove any ticks using tweezers.

3. Vaccination options

Consider having the Tick-borne encephalitis vaccine if you’re visiting a country where the infection is common and you’re planning to do outdoor activities when you get there.

Number of doses? 2 doses over 1-3 months.
When to do the course? Ideally start the 1st dose no later than 6 weeks before you travel. This way your 2nd dose can be given to you 2 weeks before you travel.
Booster doses? A single booster dose is recommended 5-12 months later if at continued risk.
Age restrictions? Vaccine is available for anyone 2 years and above.

4. At Risk Destinations

Tick-borne encephalitis is found in Central, Eastern and Northern Europe, Russia, South Korea and parts of China and Japan.

For a free risk assessment and expert advice, contact us today and speak with one of our dedicated healthcare professionals.