Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment
- Many people infected with tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) virus do not have symptoms.
- For people with symptoms, the time from tick bite to feeling sick is usually about 7 to 14 days, but can range from about 4 to 28 days.
- Severe disease often occurs including infection of the brain (encephalitis) or the membranes around the brain and spinal cord (meningitis).
- Initial symptoms can include fever, headache, vomiting, and weakness.
- A few days later, severe symptoms can develop including confusion, loss of coordination, difficulty speaking, weakness of the arms or legs, and seizures.
- Sometimes initial symptoms last a few days and completely resolve, but then about a week later the more severe symptoms develop (known as “biphasic illness”).
- Healthcare providers diagnose TBE virus infection based on
- Signs and symptoms
- Travel history and possible exposure to ticks while traveling
- Laboratory testing of blood or spinal fluid
- More information on diagnostic testing is available here.
- There is no medication to treat TBE virus infection.
- People with severe disease often need to be hospitalized to receive support for breathing, staying hydrated, or reducing swelling in the brain.
- If you think you or a family member might have TBE, see your healthcare provider.
- To learn more about treatment, visit our Healthcare Provider page.
Page last reviewed: February 23, 2022