Index – Abroad – A deadly virus is spreading in Britain The warning has been issued

The UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) has confirmed three cases of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) in patients in Yorkshire, Norfolk, Hampshire Borders and Dorset. daily Mail.

Additional tests on ticks across the country confirmed the disease – hitherto common in parts of Europe and Asia –

The British set up a surveillance program and asked the NHS to send samples from suspected cases to the UKHSA.

Public health officials said the risk is low, but they urged pedestrians to take precautions and seek medical attention if they become ill after being bitten by a tick. UKSHA’s Helen Calabi said:

Although the risk to the general public is very low, it is important that people take precautions against tick bites, such as covering their ankles and feet, using insect repellents, and checking their clothing and body, especially when going to areas covered in tall grass, such as woods, visiting swamps and parks.

The virus usually causes mild flu-like symptoms, but it can lead to serious infections of the central nervous system, such as meningitis or encephalitis. In more severe cases, high fever, headache, stiff neck, confusion, or a disturbed state of consciousness may occur.

Ticks are becoming more common in parts of the UK, mainly due to an increase in deer numbers. It is thought that infected ticks may have arrived in the UK via migratory birds. Scientists believe that the virus arrived in the country in 2019, but due to the complexity of the tests, they were unable to confirm this.

According to research presented at the European Conference on Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) in Copenhagen, Denmark, another possible disease has been discovered in the Loch Erne region of Scotland. Vaccines can provide protection, but only for a limited time, and there is no known cure for the disease.

There is also a vaccine against it

Ian Jones, Professor of Virology at the University of Reading, said: “Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) was reported in ticks in Thetford Forest in 2019, and today’s update indicates that it has now become established elsewhere and has caused sporadic disease in humans. Genetically, the viruses found in the UK are close to European or Scandinavian strains, so they may have originally arrived from a nearby continent in ticks associated with birds.”

He added: “The virus is found naturally in some ticks and is transmitted to humans when bitten (only if the tick is infected), usually on bare arms and legs while walking in the bushes. Wearing appropriate clothing basically eliminates risks (…) In Europe, it is done The use of the vaccine in high-frequency areas, and it should also be considered here for those who work outdoors in places where the virus occurs. However, the risk to the population is minimal.” Finally, he also highlighted:

TBEV is not likely to go away, but the overall risk level is very low and there is reason to believe that human cases will be sporadic.

(Cover image: Getty Images)