Lodi Valley News.com

Complete News World

UK confirms first case of tick-borne encephalitis

A person in the UK has contracted tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), a member of the flavivirus family that can cause inflammation of the brain. The United Kingdom Health Safety Agency (UKHSA), in a statement published on April 5, said the risk to the public is very low, but recommends people avoid forests and swamps, where arachnids are abundant. .

“Our surveillance suggests that tick-borne encephalitis virus is very rare in the UK and the risk to the general public is very low,” UKHSA deputy director Meera Chand said in the statement.

Also read: Lyme Disease: How to Diagnose and Manage?

Encephalitis and Lyme disease

“Ticks also carry many diseases, including Lyme disease. Therefore, people should take steps to reduce the chance of being bitten outdoors in areas where ticks live, such as swamps and forests.

A UKHSA It suggested changes in testing in hospitals to detect new cases more quickly. The government will increase surveillance by monitoring asymptomatic individuals in areas where tick-borne encephalitis has been diagnosed.

Previous cases

There have been three cases of tick-borne encephalitis in the UK since 2019, including one linked to the Yorkshire region in 2022, the first confirmed case in the UK. The virus has also previously been detected in the border areas of Hampshire and Dorset and Norfolk and Suffolk.

Because tick species that carry the virus are common in the UK and many European countries, local authorities believe the virus may also be present in animals elsewhere.

Investigations are ongoing as to why the virus has been detected more frequently in ticks in recent years, and several factors may be involved.

See also  The UK is exploring the underlining of the Ômicron variant

Learn more: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: What Should I Know?

More about the disease

The virus is transmitted by the bite of infected ticks found in forest habitats. This disease usually manifests itself in two phases. The first phase is associated with symptoms such as fever, fatigue, headache, muscle aches and nausea. The second phase involves the neurological system with symptoms of meningitis and/or encephalitis.

As with other tick-borne infectious diseases, the risk of TBE can be reduced by using insect repellents and protective clothing to avoid tick bites. Vaccination is available in some endemic areas.

This article has been peer-reviewed by a clinical panel on the PEBMED portal.