Than tick-borne encephalitis is dangerous

Tick-borne encephalitis is an acute disease of the viral etiology that develops with bites of infected ixodid ticks and is characterized by the appearance of general intoxication, neurological symptoms and the encephalitis clinic.

Causes of the disease

The disease develops as a result of ingestion of the virus of tick-borne encephalitis, which belongs to RNA viruses. The causative agent is unstable in the environment and under the influence of sunlight, heating or exposure to disinfectant solutions quickly dies. There are several types of virus, depending on the territorial distribution. Tick-borne encephalitis caused by a virus common in the Far East is considered to be the heaviest in its current.

The disease develops when a person bites with a virus infected with a tick. That, in turn, is only a carrier of the virus, which gets into the tick organism when it is bitten by infected animals, often small rodents. There is a so-called "cycle" of the virus in nature: a sick animal - a tick - an animal. On the territory of Russia, the tick is widespread everywhere, especially on the middle belt, the Urals, Siberia and the Far East. Not all mites are carriers of the virus. The number of infected insects in different regions is different and accounts for several percent of the entire population. The peak incidence falls on early spring and early summer. At this time, the mites are most active, although the possibility to get infected persists throughout the warm period of the year.

The virus enters the human body with the tick saliva directly at the bite. The causative agent can penetrate through minor scratches and damage to the skin if a person has squashed the tick and inserted the virus into the wound with unwashed hands.

Less often, the encephalitis virus can enter the body by eating raw, unpasteurized milk from large and small horned animals.

Once in the body, the virus replicates in macrophages. Further, with the blood flow, he penetrates into the lymph nodes, liver and other organs, where his reproduction begins. Then he enters the cells of the spinal cord and brain, after which a clinic characteristic of the disease develops.

Symptoms of tick-borne encephalitis

The asymptomatic period for infection from a tick bite is approximately one to two weeks, and when infected through milk - about a week.

The onset of the disease is characterized by the appearance of malaise, loss of appetite, headache and dyspepsia, pain in the muscles and joints. The body temperature rises. Very often, these symptoms are mistaken for a viral or bacterial infection. On this manifestations of the disease can be completed, but in a third of patients, after about a week, the next, the second phase of the disease with a re-rise in temperature and the appearance of neurologic symptoms. Possible development of encephalitis, the appearance of pathological neurological symptoms, impaired consciousness, development of paralysis.


Diagnosis "Tick-borne encephalitis" is exposed on the basis of characteristic complaints and clinical picture of the disease. The patient can point to a recent tick bite. In blood tests at the onset of the disease, you can see a decrease in white blood cells, some increase in liver enzymes. The most accurate method of diagnosing is the immunological method. Two sera are taken at different time intervals, in which the growth of specific antibodies is observed.

Also tick-borne encephalitis is diagnosed using a biological method in which the extracted tick is examined for carriage of the virus.

To confirm the diagnosis of an already developed lesion of the nervous system, the virus is isolated in the cerebrospinal fluid and blood.

Treatment measures for encephalitis

With uncomplicated encephalitis, symptomatic therapy is performed, antipyretic drugs are prescribed, multivitamins are administered, specific immunoglobulin is administered according to the scheme. The patient should observe peace and strict bed rest. In severe disease, treatment is performed in the department of neurology.


In order to prevent the disease, it is advisable to refrain from trips to nature during the period of maximum activity of ticks. You need to carefully inspect clothing and skin after visiting the countryside. When the mite is sucked in, it is necessary to take it out carefully, trying to keep its jaws out of the skin. The extracted tick is referred to a virological examination. In the trauma center, preventive disease prevention is carried out. But the vaccine against tick-borne encephalitis is more reliable for today.