FSME (early summer-meningoencephalitis )

The early summer meningoencephalitis (FSME) or tick-borne encephalitis is caused by FSME viruses and transferred by ticks. The illness, however, doesn't appear only in the early summer as the name has suspected, but of April until October, if a tick bite is the most probable. Ticks contaminated with FSME viruses happen heaped in certain areas of Germany (endemic infection fields) (also see chapter ticks). The disease can go life-threateningly. Not only the meninges can become inflamed but the infection can spread in the complete nervous system and therefore also damage the brain. About 300 people per annum fall ill with this infectious disease in Germany. A preventive protective vaccination and a passive immunization are possible.

FSME viruses are the cause of the illness. You belong to the genus flavivirus of the family of the Flaviviridae. You are in the saliva of the ticks, however only with about 5% of the animals. The viruses live also in many mammals and birds which, however, don't fall ill themselves.

The course is light with children mostly. The illness is indicated by two phases. After a tick bite of an infected animal it comes to influenza similar symptoms, like exhaustion, fevers, head and rheumatic pains, lack of appetite, stomach-ache, within 14 days. Perhaps passes cough and common colds, in addition. The symptoms stop up to a week. After a symptomless interval which can differently last for (1 to 20 days) long the second phase starts at fallen ill about 10 to 30% before influenza similarly to it. The FSME goes at the left without further symptoms. Approx. 30% still a meningitis (meningitis) one combined brain and meningitis (meningoencephalitis) and the remaining in addition of the former go through approximately the half, an additional myelitis (myelitis). Headaches, nape resistance, fevers, are distinctive about 40 º C, vomiting, photosensitivity.

Permanent damages and deaths happen primarily at adult patients. Long-term damages are paralyses in the arm, leg and shoulder area. The striated musculature is damaged at FSME. It can therefore come also to drink and speaking disturbances as well as to life-threatening paralyses of the respiratory musculature besides the described paralysis appearances.

Immediately go at suspicion of FSME to your physician.

In the following way your treating physician will proceed:

  • A still available tick must be immediately removed. As a rule, the tick transfers the viruses suck only a couple of hours after the celebration.
  • The FSME antibodies can be proved with a blood test.
  • There isn't a specific therapy. Absolute confinement to bed (at least 10 day) and physiotherapy at paralysis appearances improve the chances of recovery.
  • A passive immunization with FSME specific antibodies only is provided for a certain group of people. The tick bite has taken place with a not vaccinated person in a high risk field and is maximally behind the infection for four days. This form of the immunization only is recommended for adults and not for children, though.
Avoiding natural, the tick attack (also see chapter ticks) and removing the tick rapidly (see the chapter ticks also to this) for the prophylactic measures heard.

Furthermore since 2002 as of the first year of life a vaccine is available for children. The FSME vaccination consists of two part vaccinations in the distance of at least 14 days. A protection rate of 95 per cent is already reached with that. For a continuous protection a third vaccination must be carried out after 9 to 12 months. A freshening should be carried out after 5 years.

In rare cases it can come to a vaccination reaction after the FSME vaccination. Inflammation sign the vaccinated child can feel washed out for some time and the injection place can (redden), painful tumescences, show, which, however, disappears after some days.

As a rule, the costs for the vaccination take the registers if the persons to be vaccinated live in FSME risk fields. The vaccination otherwise is regarded as a journey vaccination whose costs must be taken on themselves.

Also think that popular vacation countries belong to the risk fields. Are primarily concerned for Austria, Hungary, Scandinavia, Italy (area around Florence). For some European states there aren't protected data about the spreading of the illness yet.

These informations may be considered a substitute for a piece of medical advice in no case. The content of health-illness.com doesn't can and may be put into any case to make diagnoses or carry out self medical treatment independently.

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