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Swiss health ministry recommends vaccination for tick-borne encephalitis

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Swiss health ministry recommends vaccination for tick-borne encephalitis
File photo: Depositphotos
15:07 CEST+02:00
A total of 150 people were diagnosed with tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) up to the end of June, Swiss health authorities have said.

This is much higher than in previous years, the health ministry said.

From 2000 to 2017, the number of cases in the first six months of the year ranged from 46 to 109.

Only a small number of ticks carry the dangerous early summer meningo-encephalitis (ESME) virus. The initial stage of the disease, which comes around one to two weeks after the initial bite, includes flu-like symptoms such as headaches, fever, tiredness and aching muscles.

In five to 15 percent of cases, however, a second stage of the disease includes meningitis symptoms that can last for months. Around one percent of cases are fatal.

Some areas of Switzerland are worse-affected than others. See this map for more detail on those areas.

Doctors are now recommending vaccinations for people in affected areas. These are available to people aged six and over.

Swiss health authorities say you can help protect yourself against ticks by wearing tightly woven clothes and avoiding brush and low-lying vegetation.

You should also use repellent for skin and insecticide for clothing and check your body and clothing for ticks after spending time outdoors.

For more information (in English) on how to check for ticks, see here.

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