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Tick-borne Encephalitis


Tick-borne encephalitis is a viral, natural focal (typical only for certain areas) disease, mainly affecting the central nervous system. Carriers of infection are the ticks, the virus is transmitted by the bite of the tick patient. The infection also affects animals and - rodents, cattle, monkeys, some birds.

Those most at risk are persons whose activities are related to the stay in the forest - timber industry workers, exploration parties, construction of roads and railways, oil and gas pipelines, power lines, surveyors, hunters, campers. In recent years there has been frequent diseases among the residents who were infected in peri-urban forests, horticultural areas.

Causes of tick-borne encephalitis

Reservoirs and vectors of infection in nature ticks are common in the forests of almost all the countries of Europe, the European part of Russia and Siberia. After a tick bite of an infected animal, after 5-6 days the virus penetrates all bodies tick, concentrating the reproductive system, gut and salivary glands (which explains the transmission of the virus to humans through tick bites.) Human infection may also occur at crushing and rubbing stuck tick, by eating infected raw goat and cow milk. Infection can also occur without a visit to the forest - tick can be brought out of the forest with branches, for pet hair, etc. If the infection is transmitted through the milk (some experts even allocate a route of infection and disease in the form of a single infection), the virus first enters into all the internal organs, causing the first wave of fever, then, when the virus reaches its final destination, central nervous system - the second wave of fever. Upon infection, the bite is developing another form of the disease, characterized by only one wave of fever, caused by the penetration of the virus in the brain and spinal cord and inflammation in these organs (actually encephalitis).

The symptoms of tick-borne encephalitis

The disease develops acutely, after 1.5-3 weeks after the bite. The virus affects the gray matter of the brain, motor neurons of the spinal cord and peripheral nerves, manifested convulsions, paralysis of certain muscle groups, or entire limbs and sensory disturbances of the skin. Later, when the viral inflammation encompasses the entire brain, marked persistent headache, vomiting, loss of consciousness up to coma, or vice versa develops agitation with the loss of orientation in time and space. Later may experience disorders of the cardiovascular system (myocarditis, cardiovascular failure, arrhythmia), digestive system - a delay stool, enlarged liver and spleen. All of these symptoms are accompanied by a toxic damage of the body - raising the body temperature to 39-40 degrees C.


Complications of tick-borne encephalitis mostly flaccid paralysis are mainly upper limbs. Mortality ranges from 2% in the form of European and 20% in the Far East form. Death occurs within 1 week from the onset. It is also possible the development of chronic carriers of the virus.

What you can do?

If you find it necessary to remove the tick (drip on the parasite oil or alcohol, wait 20 minutes, then take a lower tabs thread into a loop, slightly tighten and smooth rocking motion slowly pull the tick up, as it is possible to try to make a pair of tweezers). Remote mite better placed in a jar and drop off to the hospital, where it is possible to determine this was a tick is infected or not. Mites, due to their physiological characteristics, after sucking the skin does not immediately begin to feed on blood, so when their rapid detection and removal decreases the risk of being infected. If possible, contact a nearby medical facility where carefully remove the tick and recommend preventive treatment. Within 30 days after the bite should be seen by a doctor. When the temperature or rash requires urgent consultation infectious disease.

What can a doctor?

The most effective prevention of infection following a tick bite is the introduction of anti-tick immunoglobulin (intramuscular injection once). You must enter it as soon as possible. This preparation contains antibodies prepared to help the body fight the virus. It is derived from the blood of donors vaccinated against tick-borne encephalitis virus, so the cost of the drug is high. There are also a number of antiviral drugs which can be assigned to you for preventing the disease. Not everyone bitten by an infected tick gets sick, it all depends on the immune status of the organism. When the complaint should immediately seek medical attention. Further treatment will be carried out in the hospital with the use of antiviral antibodies, interferon preparations and ribonuclease. Required strict bed rest, balanced diet and vitamin.

Prevention of tick-borne encephalitis

The most reliable protection against tick-borne encephalitis is its own antibodies that are produced in response to vaccination. Traditionally, they are held in advance in the autumn-winter period. However, there are now overseas and vaccines for fast (three shots over 21 days) prevention of encephalitis. Vaccinations give 91-97% guarantee 3% of persons in a protective antibody response to the vaccine is not produced.

The second basis of protection against tick-borne encephalitis is the correct behavior in the forest. Going to a forest park or forest is best to wear a hat, clothes that cover the entire body, spray the repellent clothing, tick repellent. Taking a walk, hold paths, do not climb into the thicket.