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TBE in Aland Islands 1959-2005: Kumlinge disease.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Scandinavian journal of infectious diseases
Publication Date
Volume
38
Issue
11-12
Pages
1057–1062
Identifiers
PMID: 17148077
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Tick-borne encephalitis, TBE, has been observed in Aland Islands (population 26,500) for more than 60 years. Because of the small population, the relative incidence is high. Antibodies to TBE virus have been found in ca. 5% of healthy blood donors, indicating that subclinical infection must be common. This study is a review of the symptoms and signs of all the 301 serologically verified cases of TBE seen in Aland during 1959-2005. It also aims at analysing any possible changes in the symptoms and signs of TBE over time. The annual number of patients has been from 1 to 26, and has increased over time. The clinical picture has not undergone any conspicuous changes during these years. A few patients have had permanent neurological damage. There were no certain deaths from TBE. Simple practical measures may be taken to diminish, but not to eliminate, the risk of tick bites. Vaccination of exposed people is recommended, and general vaccination against TBE has commenced in Aland, beginning 2006. This is expected to reduce the incidence of TBE among the population to almost nil, provided that new inhabitants are vaccinated and that booster vaccinations are carried out as required.

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