I found this article about protection against the TBE virus from a national survey which I found quite shocking! I have pasted it below for anyone interested:
3 IN 4 OUTDOORS HOLIDAYMAKERS DON’T PROTECT AGAINST TBE VIRUS
Three-quarters of people taking outdoor activity holidays in Europe admit they don’t take any precautions against being bitten by ticks carrying a virus that can lead to long term health problems including loss of concentration, memory, headaches and tiredness.
Tick Borne Encephalitis (TBE) also kills two out every 100 people who contract the disease, but in an online survey by Tick Alert, 76 per cent of travellers heading for countries where TBE is endemic said they don’t protect against it.
The survey reveals that walking or hiking are the most popular pursuits (72%) with nearly one in five people planning to camp while they are away.
TBE is a viral disease which is transmitted within minutes from the bite of an infected tick and is endemic in 27 countries in Europe. According to Public Health England there have been recent cases of British travellers contracting TBE during trips to Czech Republic, Sweden and the Baltic States.
There is an average of 13,000 cases needing hospital treatment every year in Europe and Russia. Up to 30% of patients suffer meningitis and in extreme cases it leads to encephalitis (brain swelling) and inflammation of the spinal cord.
Sandra Grieve, an independent travel health specialist nurse and former chair and travel health lead for the RCN Public Health Forum, said: “Tick borne encephalitis can cause long term neurological disabilities, requiring long term healthcare for those affected. In a number of cases TBE will prove fatal.
“Travellers need to consider TBE protection more carefully if they are visiting many countryside areas of Europe during spring and summer.”
Austria topped the list of TBE destinations in the survey with 22 per cent of those questioned planning trips, followed by France (19%), while Italy was favoured by 14 per cent and Switzerland 11 per cent of travellers.
A third of holidaymakers were visiting their country for either 7-14 days or more and 35 per cent were couples and 30 per cent families. Two-thirds (63%) of all respondents said they were staying in rural areas and 22 per cent at altitude.
The website Tickalert.org (www.tickalert.org) has updated its information with more detailed maps of 27 TBE endemic countries in Europe and profiles of risk areas for a range of outdoor sports and activities such as hiking, climbing, camping, cycling, mountain biking and horse riding. Its TBE Travel Check online tool also helps travellers to find out if they might at risk of the disease because of where they are going and outdoor activities planned.