In the face of a rapid rise in the number of infections, the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) has confirmed to various newspapers that vaccination against tick borne encephalitis is now covered by basic Swiss health insurance.
In 2018, 377 cases of infection were recorded, 40% more than in 2017 and three times the number in 2015.
Symptoms include fever, achiness, loss of appetite, headache, nausea, and vomiting. Swelling of the brain and spinal cord, confusion, and sensory disturbances occur in 20% to 30% of people. 1% of those infected die from the infection.
There is no treatment for tick borne encephalitis, however there is an effective vaccine which comprises of three shots. The second shot is taken 30 days after the first, and the third 9 to 12 months later.
Unfortunately, there is no vaccine against Lyme, a more common tick borne disease. Lyme is a bacterial infection, which must be detected and treated with antibiotics. Left untreated it can sometimes have serious health effects. By the end of September 2018 there were around 12,700 reported cases of Lyme infection in Switzerland.
Swiss Federal Office of Public Health press release (in French) – Take a 5 minute French test now