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Tick-borne Encephalitis in Slovakia

07 Jul 2023

Media reports cases of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) in Solvakia are increasing. In 2023, there have been 85 cases of TBE reported to date.

Suspected causes include use of unpasteurised dairy products and low vaccination rates (under 10% of the Slovakian population are vaccinated against TBE)

Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is an infection spread mainly through tick bites. It can cause a flu-like illness or lead to more severe symptoms such as meningitis or brain inflammation. While much of TBE transmission is tick-borne across Europe, Slovakia is exceptional in the number of cases reported due to consumption of unpasteurised dairy products.

Advice for Travellers

If you are planning to spend long periods of time outdoors in forests or rural areas of countries where TBE infection is common, you should be aware of how to avoid tick bites.

The most effective way to prevent infection is by having the TBE vaccine, particularly if you are planning to do outdoor activities such as walking, hiking, camping, cycling, fishing orienteering or running in rural or forested areas.

When travelling in high risk areas, you should inspect your whole body daily for ticks, particularly after outdoor activities. Ticks should be removed as early as possible.

For further information see Tick-borne Encephalitis page