Prevention of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE)
Learn how tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) can be prevented.
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How can tick-borne encephalitis infections be prevented?
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic 6 weeks before you travel.
The following precautions will help prevent illness.
Avoid tick bites
Protect yourself from tick bites in high-risk regions when doing activities in forests or overgrown areas. You should:
- wear closed-toe shoes, long-sleeved shirts and pants
- pull your socks over pant legs
- wear light-coloured clothes to spot ticks more easily
- use insect repellent containing DEET (an active ingredient to keep bugs away) or Icaridin (always follow directions)
- shower or bathe within 2 hours of being outdoors to wash away loose ticks
- do a daily full-body check for ticks on yourself, children and pets
- stay on designated hiking trails
Common areas to find ticks on your body include:
- behind the ears
Keep your pets out of the woods, particularly dogs. Talk to your veterinarian about tick repellents for your pets.
Avoid unpasteurized milk and milk products
Infected cows, sheep and goats can transmit infection in their milk. However, pasteurization will minimize risk of infection from these products.
A vaccine against TBE does exist but is only available in countries where the disease is present. Travellers at high risk can consult a health care provider at their destination to discuss the benefits of getting vaccinated.
What should I do if I have been bitten by a tick?
Ticks attach themselves to the skin. Carefully remove attached ticks that you find. Document the:
- date of the tick bite
- start of any symptoms, if they appear
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