Spring is coming, which means that in many regions of Russia, along with the warmth, ticks will wake up and become more active. It is better to stay away from these insects and carefully check your clothes for their presence after walking in nature, because they carry various sores. Encephalitis is the most dangerous of tick-borne infections. Her lethality is from 1–2 to 25%. Kristina Nikitina, a doctor at the DocDeti Clinic for Evidence-Based Medicine for Children and Adults, told us what to do if a tick bites, how the disease is transmitted and what it can lead to.
How is encephalitis transmitted?
Encephalitis is transmitted through the saliva of an infected tick within minutes of being bitten. Therefore, even if you removed the insect right away, the infection could already have entered your bloodstream.
Occasionally, encephalitis can be transmitted through consumption of unpasteurized dairy products from infected sheep and goats.
The incubation period for the disease is 4–28 days. On average, the first symptoms appear on the seventh or eighth day.
How is encephalitis diagnosed?
The infection has two phases. At first, fever predominates, fatigue, malaise, headache and soreness in the joints appear. In the second phase, neurological manifestations occur. It can be both mild manifestations of meningitis and severe encephalitis.
- nausea, vomiting;
- eye pain, photophobia;
- lethargy, lethargy, impaired consciousness;
- convulsions up to full-fledged seizures.
How is it treated
There is no effective treatment for encephalitis, only symptomatic supportive therapy in a hospital setting. Therefore, prevention is especially important.
There are two types: planned pre-contact And emergency post-exposure.
The doctor said that we do not have working means for emergency prevention of tick-borne encephalitis, so the only option for effective prevention is routine vaccination.
Two vaccines are widely available in Russia − Mite-E-Wak And Encevir (for children Encevir NEO for children)
Grafting will cost no more than 5,000 rubles.
How to get vaccinated against encephalitis
First you need to go through the primary cycle. These are two doses with an interval of 1-7 months. Then you need to revaccinate – take one dose a year from the second vaccine and then one dose of the vaccine every 3 years.
The most correct option is to enter the first dose in the fall, and the second in the spring. But even if it is not spring or autumn, it will be the right decision to use the first vaccine.
Vaccination in children
The child is considered protected from tick-borne encephalitis only two weeks after the second or booster dose. Therefore, vaccination should be started in advance.
But if it didn’t work out in advance, there is an emergency shortened vaccination schedule. It is used in May and throughout the summer.
A child has previously been reported to have contracted tick-borne encephalitis without being bitten by a tick. A two-month-old baby got the disease through unboiled goat’s milk.