Travel Vaccines for Encephalitis

Travel vaccinations are offered to adults of all ages looking to travel to areas where they might be exposed to dangerous diseases against which they have no immunity. The immune system is effectively primed by vaccination, so that in the event of an infection it can effectively remove the invading pathogen without the risk of illness and complications. Encephalitis is a condition present in some countries that can pose a serious risk of brain damage and even death if an infection is serious enough, which is why it is recommended that you take the precaution of protecting against the condition through vaccination before you travel.

Tick-borne encephalitis

This particular type of encephalitis is transmitted by a tiny parasite called a tick which can pass on the disease by its bits. The disease varies from region to region, and mainly resides in forested areas where ticks can flourish.

Ticks like extremely small, dark coloured spiders, and a bite by these creatures that does cause an infection will often result in flu like symptoms that worsen when the virus makes its way into the brain or the protective tissues around it. Encephalitis is essentially the painful swelling of the brain caused by an infection.

Another form of encephalitis for which you can be vaccinated is Japanese encephalitis, which is a viral infection transmitted through a different parasite, the mosquito. Despite its name, Japanese encephalitis is not restricted to the far east, and there is a risk of its transmission in India, the tropical northern areas of Australia, and South East Asia. In these areas the condition is endemic, which means infections occur regularly.

Vaccinating against tick-borne and Japanese encephalitis

The vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis is provided as three injections. After your first dose you should arrange to have the subsequent booster injection 1-3 months later, while the third injection should be arranged between 5 months to a year after the second. Alternatively two injections can be administered after a two week interval if you need an urgent vaccination.

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