Tick-Bourne encephalitis (TBE)

What is Tick-Bourne encephalitis?

Tick-Bourne encephalitis (TBE) is a viral infection that can cause a serious neurological illness. It is usually transmitted through the bite of an infected tick however unpasteurised dairy products from infected animals can also pose a risk.

Who is at risk from Tick-Bourne encephalitis?

The risk of getting TBE is very low. Ticks that spread TBE can be found in:
  • Most of Europe – including the UK
  • Russia
  • Parts of China and Japan

Ticks live in woodlands and grassy areas, but they can also be found in some parks and gardens. TBE is rarely causes death in Europe, however the type found in Asia has higher risk of death and long- term neurological complications.

TBE vaccination is recommended if you are visiting a country where the infection is common, and you are planning on doing outdoor activities.

What are the symptoms?

The virus that causes TBE does not cause symptoms in most people. Some people get flu-like symptoms about a week after being bitten such as:

  • A high temperature
  • Tiredness
  • A headache
  • Aches and pains
  • Feeling sick

These symptoms usually go away on their own, but in a few cases the infection spreads the brains and causes more serious symptoms a few days or weeks later: These can include:

  • A stiff neck and severe headache
  • Pain when looking at bright lights
  • A seizure (fit)
  • Changes in behaviour, confusion, or slurred speech
  • Weakness or loss of movement in part of the body

Can I use the Rabies Vaccination Service?

You will need to have 2 injections which provide protection for a year. A 3 rd injection will provide protection up to 3 years. You will need to have the 1 st injection before travel.

The vaccine is given as injections into the upper arm.

If you have been vaccinated against rabies before, 1 booster dose may be considered if you were vaccinated more than a year ago (for 2 doses) or 3 years (for 3 doses) and you’re travelling to a high- risk area again.

TBE vaccine may not be suitable for:

  • Those with previous allergic reaction to TBE vaccine or any of its ingredients
  • Those with severe acute illness (with or without fever)
  • Those with severe allergies to egg and chick products
  • Those with allergies to neomycin or gentamicin
  • Pregnant people

  • Your DC pharmacist will double check your suitability for the vaccine.

What are the side effects to the Tick-Bourne encephalitis Vaccine?

The side effect include:

  • Itching, pain, rash, and redness at the injection site (very common)
  • Headache, feeling generally unwell, muscle and joint pains (common)
  • Vomiting and high temperature (uncommon)

What happens next?

  1. Book a virtual consultation via online portal
  2. A DC pharmacist will review your suitability for the TBE vaccine service
  3. Receive vaccine at our centres

How long will this take?

The first consultation will take 15 – 30 minutes (depending on your past medical history). The vaccination appointment will take 30 minutes (including a 15 minutes observed wait in case of severe reaction)