|Protection against TBE|
|“Vaccination is recommended for everyone, children and adults alike,|
residing in – or traveling to – endemic areas.” (I. Mutz, MD, Leoben)
In past times the prevention of tropical diseases was a major issue when traveling from one country to another. Nowadays, thankfully, vaccines have been developed which provide substantial cover.
A whole number of effective vaccines with excellent tolerability exists. Vaccinations against diphteria, tetanus and hepatitis are recommended for every European. TBE (FSME) is endemic in 27 countries. Everybody living in or traveling to these countries needs to be protected.
Thorough investigations on the epidemiology of TBE (FSME) has only recently been started. Therefore, the estimated number of unknown cases of tick-borne encephalitis is very high. Travellers from Amsterdam, who do not know TBE from Holland, can be infected e.g. when they go walking in Austria. Unsuspecting Spanish travellers cycling through the Baltic states can be infected just as easily.
If we travel to Central Africa it is necessary to consider malaria. Africans should consider the risk of contracting TBE when coming to Europe.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports: "TBE is a serious case of acute central nervous system disease, which may result in death or long-term neurological sequelae in 35-58% of patients."
You can see the current distribution of TBE (=FSME) on the attached European map (endemic areas marked in yellow). Every year new endemic areas are detected across Europe.
Currently no causal treatment is known for TBE. Prevention by special clothing and/or tick repellents has proven not reliable enough.
However TBE can be successfully prevented by active immunisation.
Correctly performed vaccination builds up specific antibodies. These antibodies are sufficient to immediately fight an infection caused by the bite of an infected tick, so that the spread of viruses in the body is prevented.
Those who are vaccinated, have a high protection rate against the disease and its consequences.
The vaccination technique is also important. The injection should be administered into the upper arm muscle.
The optimal time to start vaccination against TBE is during winter in order to ensure protection prior to the start of the tick season in spring.
Please ask your doctor or pharmacist for detailed medical advice.