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Health Tick bites in Switzerland hit record levels

Two young women on the banks of a river in a forest

Ticks are found above all in deciduous forests with lush undergrowth.

(Keystone)

A record 272 cases of infections with tick-borne encephalitis have been reported in Switzerland over the past 12 months, according to the Federal Office of Public Health.

Compared with the same period in 2016/2017, this is an increase of three cases.

The officeexternal link says the number of serious cases also reached record levels, to 5.39 per 100,000 people from 1.42 per 100,000 people in 2015.

The number of doctor’s appointments because of tick bites and bacterial infections were also up considerably in a long-term comparison.

The health authorities have recommended that people who live in at-risk areas, where the disease is endemic, get vaccinated against the virus.

About 1% of tick-borne encephalitis cases are fatal. Bacterial infections can be treated with anti-biotics, according to experts.

In Switzerland, the tick season starts in March and ends in November, depending on the weather. The health office says ticks are found mainly in deciduous forests with heavy undergrowth and at an altitude of up to 1,500 metres.

swissinfo.ch with SDA-ATS; ug

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