It is a concern that Tick-Borne Encephalitis virus (TBEV) has been found in the UK.

TBEV has long been associate with mainland Europe, Siberia, Eastern Russia and northern parts of China and Japan.  The virus can cause no symptoms or a mild-flu like illness however in some people it can progress to the brain and central nervous system causing an encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).  When this happens, the consequences can be serious.

However, if you are walking in wooded or rural areas where ticks have been found, we would urge you to take precautions such as wearing long trousers and sleeves to cover exposed skin, using an insect repellent that is effective against ticks, and inspecting your skin regularly for ticks, and removing them with specialist tick-removing equipment.

Another form of protection for people living or walking in areas that have been identified as having the ticks that can carry this disease, or in people who may be immune compromised, is a vaccine available from GPs, high street pharmacies and specialist travel health providers.  This is something we have long recommended to anyone travelling to affected areas, especially in mainland Europe and East Asia.

If anyone is concerned they should speak with a medical professional.

For more information, please read our fact sheet

Dr Ava Easton, Chief Executive of the Encephalitis Society