Outdoor enthusiasts are being warned about a tick disease in Europe this summer.
The website Tickalert.org has updated its information with more detailed maps of 27 Tick-borne Encephalitis (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.
TBE is transmitted within minutes from the bite of an infected tick and causes an average of 13,000 cases needing hospital treatment in Europe and Russia every year. Up to 30% of patients suffer meningitis and in extreme cases it leads to encephalitis (brain swelling) and inflammation of the spinal cord. Two in every hundred people die from the disease.
Ticks lie in wait and crawl unnoticed to a nice warm spot on your body, usually the groin although the armpit is another favourite feeding place. Underwear offers little protection against these blood-sucking pests.
People spending time in the countryside, especially if they are sleeping or walking a lot in grassy areas and undergrowth, need to regularly check their body for ticks and remove any immediately as the moment the tick bites there is the risk you will contract TBE.
Further information on the TBE endemic regions of Europe and latest advice for travellers is available at the website tickalert.org
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