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About TBE

What is TBE?

Signs and Symptoms

Long-term Effects

What is TBE?
Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is an illness that affects the brain and spinal cord (encephalitis is inflammation of the brain). It is caused by a viral infection that's spread through a bite from an infected tick.
Signs and Symptoms
TBE progresses in two phases. In up to a third of cases the first phase is not perceived by patients.
The first phase of illness occurs after 7-14 days. Patients complain about general symptoms normally associated with the common cold, such as:
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Myalgia
  • Nausea
  • General malaise
  • Fatigue

After this, symptoms indicating that the nervous system may be affected start to appear. Additional symptoms at this stage might typically be:1

Meningitis symptoms
  • Temperature over 39°C
  • Aggravated headaches
  • Neck stiffness


Encephalitis symptoms

  • Impaired consciousness
  • Delirium
  • Cranial nerve paralysis
  • Coordination problems
  • Paralysis of the arms and legs
Long-term effects
TBE is rare but has no specific treatment and can have serious long-term effects
There is no specific treatment for TBE, and it is estimated that more than 1 in 10 sufferers will be left with serious long-term effects such as:
  • Personality and behavioural changes
  • Problems with memory, attention, concentration, planning and problem solving
  • Speech and language problems (aphasia and dysphasia)
  • Hearing defects
  • Epilepsy
  • Movement problems and balance disorders
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Spinal paralysis
TBE can affect all ages, from young children to the elderly. There is no specific treatment for TBE.


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