Kosice: Number of People Infected with Tick-borne Encephalitis Rises

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Infectology and Travel Medicine Department of Louis Pasteur University Hospital in Kosice (Photo by TASR)

Kosice, May 31 (TASR) – The number of people suffering from tick-borne encephalitis in Kosice has increased, and the city’s Louis Pasteur University Hospital (UNLP) has accepted new patients, TASR learnt on Tuesday.

A local tick-borne encephalitis infection broke out in Kosice last weekend. UNLP’s Infectology and Travel Medicine Department (KICM) has admitted 18 patients since last week. The consumption of sheep’s cheese is said to have caused the infection. Two patients were released from the hospital on Monday (May 30).

“At the moment, 24 patients are in hospital at KICM and four are being monitored as part of outpatient care. This number isn’t necessarily definitive, as the incubation period of the disease [between 7-14 days – ed. note] hasn’t expired,” said the hospital’s spokesperson Ladislava Sustova, adding that doctors haven’t recorded any complications in treatment so far.

Sustova went on to explain the symptoms of the decease: “This infectious disease comes in two waves. The first looks like mild flu, including a loss of appetite and intestinal problems. After three or four days these problems fade and the so-called asymptomatic phase occurs, which can last up to 20 days. Then a second phase sets in abruptly, featuring high fever, persistent headaches, vomiting, sensitivity to light, a stiff neck and other symptoms characteristic of the involvement of the central nervous system.”

According to Sustova, KICM records six cases of tick-borne encephalitis on average per year. “Such a mass outbreak of tick-borne encephalitis hasn’t been recorded at the hospital for the past six years,” she added.