Signs and Symptons


Tick Borne Encephalitis (TBE) is a viral disease that attacks the nervous system and can result in serious meningitis, brain inflammation and death. TBE incubation is 6-14 days and at first can cause increased temperature, headaches, fever, cough and sniffles, symptoms indicative of the common cold. A second phase can lead to neck stiffness, severe headaches, photophobia (intolerance to light), delirium and paralysis. There is no specific treatment for TBE.

Lyme disease

The most common symptom of Lyme disease is a rash consisting of red spots, which gradually spreads from the site of the tick bite. Some patients also develop an influenza-like illness.

More serious in the months after infection can be nervous system symptoms including facial palsy (paralysis), viral-type meningitis and nerve inflammation that may lead to pain, disturbance of sensation or clumsiness of movement. Encephalitis (swelling of the brain) is a rare complication. Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics.

How to protect yourself

  • Use an insect repellent that is effective against ticks.
  • Avoid wearing shorts in rural and wooded areas, tuck trousers into socks, or cover all exposed skin with protective clothing (though not always practical in summer).
  • Inspect your skin for ticks and remove as soon as possible with fine-tipped tweezers.
  • Avoid unpasteurised milk which may also be infected with the TBE virus in endemic regions.

How to remove a tick

Tick being removed

Grasp the tick firmly and as close to your skin as possible. In a steady motion, pull the tick's body away directly outwards without jerking or twisting.

DIY Tick Check

The Tick Check is the most important step in prevention. Ticks prefer warm, moist, dark areas of the body. A magnifying glass may be helpful.

These are the common areas for tick bites.

Common areas for tick bites