Causes of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE)

Learn about the causes of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) and how it is spread.

On this page:

What causes tick-borne encephalitis?

TBE is a disease caused by a Flavivirus that affects the brain and spinal cord.

There are 3 sub-types of the virus that causes the disease:

  1. European or Western TBE virus
  2. Siberian TBE virus
  3. Far Eastern TBE virus

How is tick-borne encephalitis spread?

TBE is spread through:

  • the bite of an infected tick
    • bites are painless and often unnoticed
  • contaminated unpasteurized milk products from infected animals, which include:
    • cows
    • sheep
    • goats

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