More than 10,000 new TBE/FSME cases in Europe every year!

(Vienna, April 25th, 2006) Over the past 30 years the incidence of TBE (Tick-borne encephalitis) has significantly increased by more than 400%. An International TBE Expert Team (ISW-TBE) is now calling for a broad vaccination programme as well as appropriate action from the health authorities responsible. A first step towards this goal is the establishment of the first European TBE/FSME patient platform www.tick-victims.info.

In Germany, if we compare the years 2004/2005, there has been an increase of 156%. Other countries showing a similar strong increase, such as Switzerland with 149 % and the Czech Republic with 127 % confirm the German trend.

Problem No. 1 in the propagation of FSME is mobility: With 365 million travellers in 2004, Europe today generates more than half of all international tourist arrivals. "With tourism within Europe increasing, we still realize that there is an amazing ignorance and lack of awareness among the public in most European countries - especially in non-endemic countries such as the UK, France, the Netherlands,�..... - about the potential risks of TBE when travelling to endemic countries", according to expert Prof. Michael Kunze, Institute for Social Medicine, Vienna.

By way of concerted actions by governmental and medical institutions the TBE vaccine has received financial support for 25 years. Moreover, a widespread awareness and information campaign was launched, in order to alert doctors and pharmacists, as well as the Austrian public in general, to the danger posed by ticks and the symptoms of TBE. Valuable patient platforms such as the "Tick Victims Self-help Group" contribute to this success.

Drawn up by the international TBE experts as a challenge to public institutions and to those responsible for policy in the countries, a pan-European 10-point-action-plan has been prepared, which is intended to raise awareness of TBE as still being one of the great health policy challenges of the 21st Century. In this 10-point action plan experts e.g. express the need for international TBE vaccination and travel guidelines.

This platform (www.tick-victims.info) will provide additional support by way of comprehensive service and information and is intended to become the first pan-European TBE network for those affected. The new patient platform is available immediately to patients across Europe - in 16 different European languages.


Mrs. Andrea Gaugusch, Public Health PR Projektgesellschaft

Tel: +43-676-883 26 70 30, E-mail: office@publichealth.at

website: www.isw-tbe.info