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Rickettsiosis in Italy (Sardinia)

08 Jun 2022

Italian health services have reported via media (in Italian) that a person has died of rickettsiosis in Lanusei, in central-eastern Sardinia. The patient had been seriously ill in hospital since 2 June 2002, after being bitten by a tick.

Rickettsiosis is a serious infection transmitted to humans from tick bites. It occurs around the world. Most cases on Europe are seen in the Mediterranean region. Symptoms of the disease may include fever and a rash. Treatment usually includes antibiotics.

Advice for Travellers

No vaccine is currently available against rickettsiosis.

If you are planning to spend time outdoors in forests or rural areas when abroad, you should be aware of how to avoid tick bites particularly when participating in activities such as walking, hiking, camping, cycling, fishing, orienteering or running. This includes:

  • wearing long sleeved tops, trousers tucked into socks, closed footwear to reduce the amount of exposed skin that could be bitten

  • using insect repellents on any areas of exposed skin

  • wearing light coloured clothing so that you can see any ticks if they brush onto your clothing

After outdoor activities, make sure you should inspect your whole body and that of your family each day for ticks, and remove any ticks as early as possible.