Tick-borne encephalitis claims first Dutch patient

Closeup of a full tick crawling on human skin

Closeup of a full tick crawling on human skin. Photo Depostphotos.com

The Netherlands has its first recorded case of tick-borne encephalitis, or TBE virus, public health institute RIVM said on Thursday.

The patient, who was not identified, is thought to have picked up the tick during a walk in the Heuvelrug area near Utrecht and is now recovering from the virus.

The TBE virus, which mainly occurs in central, northern and eastern Europe and northern Asia, has been identified in ticks in the region, the RIVM said. TBE affects the central nervous system. Symptoms include long-lasting flu like complaints but patients can also develop meningitis.

Ticks in the Netherlands are most commonly associated with spreading Lyme’s disease. Some 25,000 people a year are diagnosed with Lyme’s disease in the Netherlands, according to RIVM figures.

The institute said last month there has been a sharp rise in the number of reported tick bites so far this year.