Tick Borne Encephalitis
What is Tick Borne Encephalitis?
Tick Borne Encephalitis is a viral disease transmitted by tick bites. Ticks are small 8-legged, spider-like creatures that feed on the blood of mainly mammals and birds, including humans. They are to be found everywhere, but prefer warm, humid climates.
They can't fly or jump, but wait in locations where animals or humans are present and attach themselves whenever an opportunity occurs.
After a day's horse riding in Colorado some years ago I was told after I returned to my lodgings to inspect my body very carefully for ticks. I was quite horrified because I hadn't realised this was a problem where I was. Fortunately, none were found.
What Are The Symptoms?
Symptoms can include fever, headache, lethargy and muscle pain. In some people more serious symptoms can develop if the virus infects the tissue surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
In most cases the symptoms will only last around a week. If the more serious symptoms occur, hospitalisation is necessary and in some cases the disease can be fatal.
How Is It Contracted?
The disease is transmitted by tick bites. The disease can also be contracted by eating or drinking unpasteurised dairy products (milk, cheese, etc) from infected goats, sheep, or cows.
Who Is At Most Risk?
People who live in, or visit, areas where there are a large number of infected ticks.
Where Are You At Risk?
Tick Borne Encephalitis isn't a problem in the UK, but it is on the other side of the English Channel. It exists from Eastern France right the way to Northern Japan and it is a particular problem in Russia.
A vaccine is available, but only in certain countries. According to one website I visited, it isn't available in the United States. In the UK the vaccine is only available privately and not available through the National Health Service (NHS). There are different kinds of vaccine for adults and children.
Even if you have been vaccinated the best thing to do is try to prevent being bitten by ticks. Wear clothing that covers all exposed parts of your body and consider using a DEET based insect repellent.
When returning from tick-infested areas inspect your body carefully for ticks. If any are found grasp them with a pair of tweezers as near to the skin as possible and, once removed, clean the area with alcohol, iodine or soap and water.
When Should You Be Vaccinated?
The vaccine is administered in three doses at the recommended intervals and boosters may be needed after that. The second dose should be administered two weeks before you depart to the affected area.
Does The Vaccine Have Any Side Effects?
Like most injections, some people may experience tenderness and redness at the site of the injection. High fever and allergic reactions may occur.
Source Of information
GlaxoSmithKline, Wikipedia, local doctors, local hospitals, newspaper articles, various.
Travel Related Diseases
Thailand is an incredibly photogenic country, both for its landscapes and its people. Regardless of whether you enjoy large Asian cities, beaches and islands, or rice fields and mountains, Thailand has something for you and it is a dream destination for photographers.
One of the great things about visiting Thailand is that hotels are plentiful and a lot cheaper than in most other countries. Each link on the right will take you to the relevant page on the Agoda website where you can see photos, read reviews, and book on-line. I use Agoda to book all of my own hotels in Thailand and the Southeast Asia region. Agoda hotel rates are usually always the lowest and I have received good customer service, therefore I am happy to recommend the company to other people. Here is some analysis I did regarding booking hotels in Southeast Asia.
Booking.com used to be more expensive than Agoda, but when I have checked hotel prices recently I have found their rates to be quite competitive. Unlike Agoda, you don't need to pay at the time of booking with Booking.com - you can simply pay at the hotel when you check in. Also, Booking.com show you total prices whereas Agoda show you a price and then add on 17% for tax and service charge.
If you wish to compare prices between different on-line travel agents (OTAs) for a specific hotel, you can use a company such as HotelsCombined.
Images of Thailand