Since the beginning of 2020, 215 cases of tick-borne encephalitis have been registered by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), or more than double those observed a year ago (97). Weather and coronavirus could be the cause of this substantial increase.
In the past four weeks 124 cases have surfaced, compared to 59 in 2019, the FOPH reveals in its weekly bulletin published today. The total until the end of June is the second highest value since 2000. In general, the period in which ticks are particularly active runs from March to November.
According to the Confederation, the favorable weather conditions and the rules of social distancing imposed to face the epidemic are likely to have pushed more people than usual to go out into nature. Furthermore, it cannot be excluded that the semi-confinement measures prevented some from getting vaccinated.
The number of consultations in June for punctures of these parasites exceeded that of 2018. Since the beginning of the year, 19,600 medical visits have been registered.
The FOPH recalls that it is important to get vaccinated to protect against tick-borne spring-summer meningoencephalitis (FSME), a disease that can also have a serious course. This is particularly recommended for people aged six years and older who live in risk regions.
A vaccine, however, does not exist with regard to borreliosis, the other tick-borne disease. It is caused by bacteria and can be treated with antibiotics, but often goes unnoticed.
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