F.S.M.E. (tick-encephalitis) Früh Sommer Meningo Encephalitis

F.S.M.E. (tick-encephalitis) Früh Sommer Meningo Encephalitis

F.S.M.E. (tekenencephalitis) Früh Sommer Meningo Encephalitis

Tick-encephalitis is caused by a virus. It is transmitted to humans through a tick bite and by drinking unpasteurized milk. The tick is found in large parts of central, eastern and northern Europe (European version) and in the former Sovjet Union, Kazakhstan, northeast China, Japan and Mongolia (Non-European version). A tick is active from March to November and lives in forests and grasslands. The Non-Eureopean tick is the most dangerous one. Ask a nurse at the vaccination centre of the vaccinations are eligible.

Two vaccinations before departure, with one month in between. After 9-12 months, you will need the third vaccination.

This disease is caused by 3 different types of viruses. You can catch the disease by a bite from an infected tick or through drinking unpasteurized milk. The disease occurs in large parts of Europe and central Asia up to and including Japan.

F.S.M.E. (Tick encephalitis)
FSME-immun is a vaccine that protects you for the Tick-borne encephalitis. The abbreviation FSME stands for the German name for the disease, Frühsommer Meningo-Encephalitis. The disease is caused by a virus that can be transferred by a tick. The virus can cause serious meningitis. In the Netherlands ticks that carry the virus are luckily very rare. But in large parts of Europe and Asia the risk of FSME is so big that it is advised to be vaccinated preventively.
Where does FSME occur?

When and where am I at risk?
Ticks occur in nature. You can find them on trees, shrubs and blades of grass. You are at risk of getting bitten by a tick when you are in a risk area or performing an activity where you find yourself between trees, shrubs or blades of grass. Activities that can be risky are walking, biking, camping or having a picnic. But also bird watchers are at risk. People who have a second house in risk area or even people who are walking over a lawn or garden in risk area can get bitten by tick.
Course of the disease

The seriousness and duration of the symptoms can differ. Two-thirds of the people who get infected with FSME have none to mild symptoms. With the remaining one-third of the people the disease develops in two phases:

Phase 1:
The characteristics of this phase are similar to flu-like symptoms. These can occur 2 to 28 days after a tick bite but mostly 7 to 14 days after the bite.
Frequent symptoms are:
– Generally feeling ill
– (mild) fever
– Fatigue and body weakness
– Muscle strain and joint pain
– Headache
– Nausea and vomiting
– Stomach ache and diarrhea

Phase 2:
Part of the people who went through phase 1 will continue to develop a second phase. New symptoms occur after being symptom free for 1 to 21 days after phase 1. In phase 2 the central nervous system is affected. Encephalitis (brain inflammation), meningitis or spinal cord inflammation can develop. For these disease hospitalization is needed.
Frequent symptoms of phase 2 are:
– (High) Fever
– Severe headache
– Disturbed movement (ataxia)
– Muscle strain and joint pain
– Intolerable to light
– Paralysis and nervous breakdown
– Reduced consciousness, drowsiness and disorientation
– Cognitive problems
– Sleep disorders
– Hearing problems
– Swallow and speech problems
– Vision problems
– Cramps
– Dizziness
– Nausea and vomiting
– Stomach ache, constipation and diarrhea
– Tremor in the arms and legs
– Neck pain and stiffness
– Disturbed balance
– Changes in personality and behaviour
– Overstimulation
– Emotionally unstable, anxiety and depression
– Autonomic dysregulation
– In rare cases epilepsy, seizures and coma

A higher risk at the serious progression of the disease is related to sex (the progression of the infection is often more serious with males than with females) and age (Above the age of 50 the risk increases).

Besides FSME tick can carry more viruses. In case of a single tick bite you can get infected with more than one disease. For example the combination of Lyme and FSME. In this case FSME can progress more serious.

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