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Somebody said TBE vaccination? The time is now!

Somebody said TBE vaccination? The time is now!

Among the current covid-19 vaccination, we would like to talk about other vaccination that shouln't be overlooked, and to get ready for the upcoming summer season - today we are talking specifically about Tick-borne Encephalitis (TBE).

What is Tick-borne Encephalitis disease? 

Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is an infectious viral disease transferred by ticks and affecting the human nervous system. It is manifested through symptoms such as headache, fatigue, fever, nausea, pain in the joints, lower sensitivity in limbs, or sleeping disorders. TBE is a dangerous disease as approximately 25% of infected individuals suffer from permanent consequences of the disease, such as upper limb paralysis, chronic headache, disorders of concentration, mood, or sleep, however, deaths are very rare. The WHO recommends immunisation where ticks are common. 

 

How can I get Tick-borne Encephalitis disease?

Simply, by a tick bite, but not every tick doesn't have to be infected. To be precise, it is actually not the tick itself, but a virus (arbovirus) in the tick, that is being transferred from the tick to the human by a tick bite. The virus lives in the saliva of the tick, so even a short while of the tick bite in the skin is enough for transferring TBE.  Particularly in the last years, the Czech Republic had a high occurrence of ticks within Central and Eastern Europe. Tick are most active during warm months, starting April already and they prefer damp locations. With coming warm days people naturally spend more time outside, in the garden, in the parks, at the riverside, sitting on the grass or going to the woods.

 

How can I protect myself:

The best way to avoid any tick disease is simply not to get bitten by a tick. To prevent a tick bite it is recommended to wear long pants, long sleeves, and long socks when spending time in risky areas, outdoor, especially in the parks or green grass. For prevention, there are some conventional repellents such as DEET, picaridin, and permethrin, but also a variety of natural options, such as often recommended essential oils. Repellents are repulsive for ticks, but it does not stop them from biting, so it doesn't provide 100% protection. Some repellents can be applied to clothing, while others can be sprayed directly onto the skin (always check the product label). After spending time outdoor don’t forget to check your body for ticks.

 

What should I do when I find a tick sucked to the skin? 

Tick chooses to bite all over the body, also on the head in the hair. If you find one, don’t panic, you can remove it with tweezers. Simply grab the body of the tick as close as possible to the skin, and slowly and very carefully twist the tick body until it comes out. Do not use cremes or oils on the sucked tick, as it was believed for many years, because the creme does suffocate the tick who expels the content of its intestines into the wound, that increases the risk of disease transmission. To prevent infection, it is important to disinfect the skin and also the tweezers before and after removing the tick.

 

How can I recognise I have Tick-borne Encephalitis? 

If a person has been infected by a tick, he/she can expect a wide variety of symptoms within 2 weeks, ranging from flu-like symptoms - headache, fatigue, fever, or nausea, pain in the joints, lower sensitivity in limbs, stiffness in muscles, sleeping disorders, towards no manifesting symptoms at all. Because the symptoms are so irregular, it is often hard for people to confirm they have been infected, therefore it is very important to check the skin for tick bites regularly after spending time outdoor. There is no proven medication for treatment, only treatment of symptoms.

 

Is there a TBE vaccination available? 

Yes, there is vaccination against TBE available and it reaches 99% efficacy. If this is something of your interest, the time for vaccination starts already now in the winter months, well ahead of the summer season. 

 

How does TBE vaccination schedule look like?

TBE vaccination consist of three separate shots in order to gain a a long-term immunity against the disease. The first vaccination is done in the winter, second shot follows within 1-3 months. The third shot follows 5-12 months after the second one. Vaccination starts to be efficient after two shots, however doctors highlight that the third shot should be completed to achieve the full prevention. A person should get revaccinated, 3 years after the third shot, and then revaccinated again in another 5 years. Please note that TBE vaccination is not covered by your public health insurance in the Czech Republic. 

 

Is TBE included in Unicare annual membership package? 

If you have Unicare Medical annual membership then TBE vaccination is included in the Comfort Plus package and Exclusive package. If you wish to book yourself as a self-payer, please call our reception for more information, about the availability and the price. 

 

How can I book myself for TBE vaccination?

To book yourself for a TBE vaccination, please contact our reception by phone +420 235 356 553 or by email reception@unicare.cz.