Only 38% of Latvia's population was vaccinated against tick-borne encephalitis



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The active tick season began, as evidenced by the first incidence of tick-borne encephalitis this year. A survey conducted in early March revealed that only 38% of Latvia's residents were vaccinated against tick-borne encephalitis.

According to statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (SPCC), about 200 cases of tick-borne encephalitis are reported annually in Latvia, so vaccination is very important. There is a misconception that it is not possible to get infected with tick-borne encephalitis without going to the forest regularly. On the contrary, ticks are also found in city parks or on patios with longer rooms, so vaccination is essential for everyone.

Research data show that 62% of Latvia's population has not been vaccinated, but 19% are planning to do so in the near future. Most people who have not been vaccinated are between the ages of 30 and 55 and cite the lack of resources and forgetfulness of vaccination as the main cause of non-vaccination. The number of young people who do not plan to vaccinate is only 26%, which can be explained by the fact that young people follow their health and information on preventive measures in the digital environment.

In a situation where a mite has seized, Latvian residents seek more medical care, more than half of the respondents or 56% admit that they should not remove their own mites and should seek immediate medical help from a family doctor or run to a infectology. However, a significant number of respondents (45%) would choose to remove ticks on their own using spirits (20%), online tutorials (15%) or oily substances (10%).

Vaccination is becoming increasingly popular among young people – the survey found that youngsters were most frequently vaccinated against tick-borne encephalitis (54%), trusted by the vaccine recommended by their doctors (41%) and recommended for those who had not been vaccinated (44%). However, it is important for young people that a family doctor or nurse reminds them of vaccination, as 41% of young people interviewed regularly forget about vaccination. Young people aged 20-29 are also the most conscientious – 68% of respondents would seek medical help if they found a soaked mite.

"The news in the research results that some respondents do not appreciate the need, but some simply forget to vaccinate against tick-borne encephalitis is worrisome. Therefore, the timeliness of the interview with the patient about this serious infectious disease and the only way to avoid it by vaccination does not diminish, "said the results of the research, by Dace Berzina, neurologist of the Association of Health Centers.

"Physicians have data showing that 35-58% of people who had tick-borne encephalitis have the effects of tick-borne encephalitis and meningitis manifested as persistent fatigue, difficulty concentrating, memory disorders, may also have disturbances of balance , headaches and mood swings, movement disorders or even paralysis.This changes the quality of life of the patient, requires more frequent medical supervision and treatment costs.

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