Do you know what tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is?

TBE is an infection of the central nervous system that affects the brain, spinal cord and membranes around them.1 Transmission of TBE to humans most commonly occurs through the bite of an infected tick.2 If you live in a country where there is a known risk of TBE infection, or if you are planning a holiday in the near future, it is important to learn how to help protect yourself from TBE infection.

*Endemic country is where an infection in a population is constantly maintained at a controllable level.


Know the facts

What you need to know about TBE

Where?

Ticks live near the ground and can be found inside and outside cities, in parks and gardens, as well as in forests and meadows.​​​​​​​3,4

When?

Ticks are typically active when temperatures are above 6ºC, usually from March to November.1 However, the tick season can vary each year depending on the climate.

How?

Transmission of TBE to humans usually takes place during a tick bite through the saliva of an infected tick.​​​​​​​1

No specific treatment

There is no specific treatment for TBE, and unlike​​​​​​​ Lyme disease (which is also transmitted by ticks) it cannot be treated with antibiotics.5

1 in 3

Approximately one in three people infected with the TBE virus will develop long-term neurological complications.1

TBE comes from tick bites

Whether you live in a country where the TBE virus exists or are planning a holiday in the near future, learn about how to help protect yourself from TBE infection.

Are you travelling to Europe or Asia?

Before travelling to the following highlighted countries, it's recommended that you consider taking preventative measures to help protect against TBE, including vaccination.

TBE risk area mapTBE risk area map

Information contained within is considered to be accurate at the date of publication.

Ticks infected with the TBE virus are not confined to one country, with reports of ticks from across Europe to Japan. TBE has been reported in humans in 34 countries. You may be at risk of TBE if you live in or travel to one of the following countries: Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Mongolia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine.4 TBE may not have been found in all areas of a country, please check local information​​​​​​​.

TBE may not have been found in all areas of a country, please check local information​​​​​​​.

How to help protect yourself 

If you live in or are travelling to a country where there is a risk of TBE, then follow a few simple steps to help protect yourself and your loved ones from TBE infection.2 

Camping holiday

Prepare in advance

Talk to a healthcare professional

Talk to a healthcare professional about vaccination. According to the World Health Organization, vaccination is considered the most effective prevention measure for TBE.6

What to wear to avoid tick bites

Wear light-coloured clothing, including long-sleeved tops and trousers tucked into socks, and treat socks with insecticides.7

Use tick repellent

When you are outdoors

Check your body for tick bites

Check your body for ticks regularly.3

Remove ticks from your body

Remove ticks as soon as possible using a pair of fine tipped tweezers.3
​​​​​​​Learn how to remove ticks

Camping in woodland

Upon your return

Seek advice if bitten by a tick

If you think you may have been bitten by a tick, seek advice from a healthcare professional.3

Seek advice within 28 days

Seek advice from a healthcare professional if any signs of illness occur within 28 days ​​​​​​​of a tick bite.3

You can reduce your risk of developing TBE by taking precautions to avoid being bitten by an infected tick when in high risk areas.8

A proven way to prevent TBE is to be vaccinated against the infection before you travel.9, 10 Vaccination against TBE is recommended for anyone who may be at risk of TBE through their work or travels, particularly those planning to visit rural areas or do outdoor activities such as walking, hiking, cycling and camping.7, 8

To find out if vaccination is recommended for you, speak to your pharmacist, doctor, nurse or travel health professional.​​​​​​​

See below a list of some of the providers where you can seek advice about protecting yourself before you travel.​​​​​​​