As every year, a lot of people start planning their holidays again in spring. If you are dealing with possible goals, you should keep an eye on health. In addition to travel vaccinations that may be necessary, this also includes the topic of tick prevention. Because even on vacation there is a risk of being infected by pathogens, for example the early summer meningoencephalitis (TBE) virus, by a tick bite. TBE is a disease of the meninges and the central nervous system.
Whether a hiking holiday in the Alps, a city break or a stay by the sea, the Germans are spoiled for choice when planning their holiday. Especially in the spring, interested parties deal with bookings for their annual vacation. As the tourism analysis of the Foundation for Future Issues shows at the beginning of the year, trips for more than a third of Germans to other European countries are very popular (34 percent). Vacationing within Germany is in second place for a fifth of those surveyed (23 percent).
Observe TBE risk areas when planning your vacation
Many popular travel destinations are located in areas where the risk of being infected with TBE viruses by a tick bite is particularly high. Wherever travelers are on vacation, they should check whether the planned destination is in the TBE risk area. In Germany, this includes large parts of Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, and parts of South Hesse and Thuringia. In Europe, for example, countries like Austria, Sweden, Poland or the Baltic countries are affected.
Well prepared for vacation thanks to precaution
The right measures can prevent ticks on vacation. Because there are some tricks that help prevent blood suckers. Even if long clothing is reluctant to choose in warm weather, it has many advantages: it protects against sunburn, cools better than short clothes and helps to avoid tick bites. In addition, solid shoes, protective repellents and a thorough search for ticks after a stay in nature are recommended. TBE vaccination can also prevent you from getting TBE after a tick bite. If a tick is detected, tools such as a tick card or tweezers help to remove the parasite.
TBE vaccination protection
Ticks become active as soon as it is 7 degrees Celsius warm or warmer for several consecutive days. In Germany, the tick season usually lasts from February to October. The beginning or the end of the season can also shift at appropriate temperatures. At best, TBE vaccination protection should therefore be available all year round. The establishment of vaccination protection can begin at any time. For vaccination protection lasting several years, three vaccinations are required in a fixed period of time over several months. This is followed by a regular refreshment. If the tick season is imminent, vaccination protection for the current season can also be established at short notice. Consult your doctor about this.
Who pays for TBE vaccination?
Some health insurance companies cover the cost of TBE vaccination. However, there are different types of handling on the part of insurers. For example, a distinction is made between those interested in vaccination living in a TBE risk area or on holiday there. Those who live in such an area usually benefit from the full cost coverage by the health insurance company. According to the vaccination guideline of the Federal Joint Committee, anyone who needs this vaccination for travel outside of Germany has no compulsory benefit.
However, many health insurance companies do meet their policyholders: Some insurers also pay the TBE vaccine in full as a travel vaccination. Other health insurance companies offer the option of subsidizing TBE vaccination for holidaymakers through a statutory benefit. A phone call with your own health insurance can often help here. In addition, there is a list of health insurance companies and the costs borne for travel vaccinations, among other things, on the website of the Center for Travel Medicine.