Every year, the Center for Disease Prevention and Control publishes a map of endemic areas of tick-borne encephalitis. It is a map showing the regions with the highest incidence of tick-borne encephalitis in the last five years, with one hundred thousand people. This year, this map includes 23 counties, mainly in Kurzeme. Nine municipalities were excluded from the list, but only one came.
This year, tick-borne encephalitis vaccines will be applied to children in 23 municipalitiesKristaps Feldmanis
Between 2014 and 2018, the highest incidence of tick-borne encephalitis in one hundred thousand inhabitants was in Pāvilosta County – almost 113 episodes. The second place with 101 cases is Alsunga, 81 cases in Dundaga County, almost 72 – in Kuldiga and almost 61 in Skrunda. These 5 endemic TOP regions are located in Kurzeme. This region is home to most of the 23 districts that were included in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this year on the map of endocrine encephalitis.
& Quot; The territories were identified by analyzing epidemiological surveillance data on the incidence of tick-borne encephalitis over a five-year period from 2014 to 2018.
The incidence changes each year, so endemic areas are also changing.
But there are areas where the incidence is high each year and has not changed in five years. For example, in the counties of Pavilosta and Alsunga, "says epidemiologist Victoria Chernichev.
Children one year of age until the age of majority are vaccinated. The list has been changed this year. The region of Līgatne has reached this point. This year the counties of Rujiena, Baldone, Vecumnieki, Lubana, Iecava, Salacgriva, Priekuļi, Krimulda and Amata were eliminated from the list. However, even in these municipalities, it is possible to complete the course of vaccination, says Chernihev:
"Districts that were included in endemic areas by 2018 but by 2019 due to declining morbidity should complete state-funded vaccination for children for which it was started in earlier years."
Victoria Chernysheva explains that the tick season begins when the temperature reaches a further 5 degrees. She anticipates this.
Ticks will become active as early as next week, so it is important to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
The epidemiologist also points out that if a child is registered in the endemic area, but the practice of their family doctor is not in the area, vaccination should be done by another family physician whose practice is in one of these areas. However, if the child lives in one of the endemic areas but the official place of residence is outside, free vaccination will not be available.
Vaccination is also supported by the Latvian Association of Rural Family Physicians. His representative, family doctor Ainis Dzalbs, said efforts should be made to have the state pay for any child's vaccination against the disease:
& Quot; As family practitioners, we support this program because, in order to carry out the vaccination, this whole process is really done by practicing a family doctor in this area, with the highest incidence of tick-borne encephalitis. We would be very happy if the country could provide vaccines for all children, but considering the financial aspects, limited resources, the country has offered this prevention for many years only to the areas with the highest incidence. "
In total, more than 27,500 children live in 23 endemic regions, according to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.
According to the number of children, the largest municipality included in the map of the endemic territories is – the municipality of Talsi. There are almost five and a half thousand children. Many children also in the counties of Kuldiga and Ventspils.
"Children are using very good vaccination options. Family doctors also give us plans and ask for vaccines. It seems to be well vaccinated and use that opportunity, "says Chernihev, satisfied that most children in endemic areas use the vaccine against tick-borne encephalitis.
Family doctor Ainis Dzalbs also points out that the association's doctors have noted that in areas where free vaccines are available, the response capacity is much higher:
"Coverage is undoubtedly greater because, as we know, vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis is a relatively expensive service, and in areas where this is available as a state-funded service, there is a very good response."
Pāvilosta County has the highest number of people per 100,000. Vita Cielava, a member of the District Council and chair of the Committee on Social Affairs, says the county family doctors are aware of the situation and offer their patients free vaccinations. She also says that people in previous years have been told that such opportunities and ways of communicating information to county residents will be sought out this year.
The Center for Disease Prevention and Control, on the other hand, recalls that orphans and children left without parental care can receive a free vaccine against tick-borne encephalitis throughout Latvia.