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Nurses underestimate TBE prevalence

Most nurses offering travel health advice do not realise that Tick Borne Encephalitis (TBE) is endemic in 27 countries across Europe.

A survey by Tick Alert found that 37% of nurses thought that TBE was prevalent in 15 countries in Europe where it is actually endemic in 27. Some 6% of nurses believed the disease was only endemic in 10 European countries.

A Tick Alert spokesperson said: "With the growing popularity of active holidays, particularly in countries of Central Europe and the surge in visitor numbers to the Baltic States, it's imperative that travel health nurses keep up-to-date with the latest information about TBE and risk areas."

A third of nurses said more patients had been enquiring about TBE in recent years and three quarters knew that a pre-travel TBE vaccine was available.

However, another 72% of nurses said all aspects of the TBE knowledge could improve.

Tick Alert urges nurses to advise patients who may be at risk of contracting the disease, to seek adequate protection before travelling.

Tick Alert