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National Institute of Public Health

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Cent Eur J Public Health. 2014;22(4):277-81.
doi: 10.21101/cejph.a3939. PubMed PMID: 25622489
http://dx.doi.org/10.21101/cejph.a3939


Increasing Incidence of Tick-Borne Encephalitis and Its Importance in the Slovak Republic

Erik Dorko1, Kvetoslava Rimárová1, Peter Kizek2, Milan Stebnický1, Ľubica Zákutná1

1Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of P. J. Šafárik, Košice, Slovak Republic
21st Department of Stomatology, Faculty of Medicine, University of P. J. Šafárik, Košice, Slovak Republic

Summary
Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is caused by tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), a virus species of the genus Flavivirus within the Flaviviridae family. In Western Europe, TBEV is transmitted primarily by the Ixodes ricinus (I. ricinus) tick. During the last 30 years, there has been a continued increase in human cases of TBE in Europe. A total number of 102 cases in Slovakia was reported in 2012 (1.89/100,000), with two local outbreaks after the ingestion of raw milk and dairy products. Active vaccination is the most effective method of preventing TBE. According to the available data in Slovakia from 2012, 8,491 children under 15 years of age were vaccinated that year, which, when compared to 2009 with approximately 17,000 vaccinated children, represents a decrease of more than 50%. The data on vaccination of adults are not available, but the estimated vaccination coverage in Slovakia is around 1% (1.3/100,000). The education of the population is also an important precautionary measure in the prevention of tick-borne illnesses.

Keywords: tick-borne encephalitis, Ixodes ricinus, occurrence, prevention

Address for correspondence: E. Dorko, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, P. J. Šafárik University, Šrobárova 2, 041 80 Košice, Slovak Republic. E-mail: erik.dorko@upjs.sk

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