Doctors newspaper online, 19.04.2018
With a rapid immunization against TBE, around 90 percent of adults already have adequate immunity after two weeks.
By Roland Fath
Hamburg. 2017 was a “tick year” in Germany with 476 FSME cases reported. Climate change may also contribute to the spread of ticks and the increase in TBE risk. Austrian experts recommend higher immunization rates against TBE, at least in risk areas also in Germany. To estimate the risk of a tick bite and the risk of disease, the first tick density chart was recently prepared for Germany. Depending on the forest area, the numbers of the most common species, Ixodes ricinus (wood buck), varied during the period 2006 to 2014 from
One percent of ticks virus carriers
The spread of ticks depends on the altitude, the latitude and above all on the climatic conditions in the last two winters, said Professor Franz Rubel from the Institute of Public Veterinary Medicine in Vienna at an event sponsored by Pfizer Germany. However, the TBE risk does not necessarily increase with tick density. On average, about every hundredth tick carries carriers of TBE viruses. In humans, the infection can be very individual, many remain asymptomatic, some get symptoms similar to a summer flu, in rare cases it comes to meningitis. The risk of severe neurological progression increases with the age of the infected. In Austria, where there is a general TBE vaccination recommendation, the vaccination coverage is now 85 percent. The number of annual TBE cases has dropped from the previous 600 to 60, said Ruble. Similar vaccination rates are also recommended in German risk areas. In Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, however, the vaccination rates were only estimated at 15 to 30 percent.
Note: “About half of all TBE illnesses in Germany are due to domestic tourism,” said Professor Martin Haditsch from TravelMedCenter Leonding in Austria. TBE vaccination can therefore also be useful for short trips to risk areas when you are outside.
If you need to go fast, you can also have a rapid immunization with the first two doses at intervals of 14 days instead of the regular primary immunization with three vaccinations (such as TBE IMMUN, month 0, 1-3 months later and after 5-12 months) , Just two weeks later, about 90 percent of adults show sufficient immunity.