Tick season: Five new German risk areas to be careful around this summer

Tick season: Five new German risk areas to be careful around this summer

The RKI has designated five new regions in Germany as risk regions for tick-borne encephalitis, including an area in Saxony-Anhalt for the very first time. 

More tick-borne encephalitis risk areas added

With spring just around the corner, many people in Germany are looking forward to heading out for a nice walk and a break from being cooped up inside. But with cases of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) rising, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has advised walkers to be wary in five new places across the country. 

For the first time, the city of Dessau-Roßlau in Saxony-Anhalt has been added to the list, taking the total number of districts in Germany with a TBE risk to 169. 

Significant increase in infections in Germany in 2020

While the coronavirus pandemic has kept people indoors for much of the winter, in summer and spring 2020 many people headed out into nature to get some fresh air. This is most likely the reason why cases of TBE rose quickly in 2020 - 704 infections were recorded in Germany last year, a huge increase from the 445 reported in 2019.

The early symptoms of TBE are fairly innocuous, beginning with a headache and fever. In a small number of cases, however, the illness can progress into something more serious, with a second stage of infection triggering meningitis, encephalitis or spinal cord inflammation. The infection can therefore become serious and deadly, so it is important to be wary of these symptoms and seek medical attention immediately if infection is suspected. 

Early removal of ticks from any infected person is crucial, while covering up skin, wearing insect repellents and avoiding areas that are known to have ticks are the best ways to avoid catching TBE. For more information about ticks in Germany, visit the RKI's website



Emily Proctor

Former Editor at IamExpat Media.

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