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Tick Borne Disease Advisory

Tick borne diseases such as Tick-Borne Encephalitis (TBE) and Lyme disease are prevalent in Europe. TBE is a serious disease of humans that affects the central nervous system. Lyme disease is an infectious disease that often begins with a characteristic rash, and which can later involve the joints, nervous system and/or heart. Both of these diseases are transmitted by certain species of ticks of the genus Ixodes.

To prevent tick borne disease, following methods are recommended.

  • Use of properly worn protective clothing (sleeves down, pants tucked in boots) and repellents.
  • Routinely check your skin and clothing for ticks during outdoor activity as well as upon returning from outside.
  • If bitten, promptly remove the tick.
  • Use tweezers to firmly grasp the tick’s mouthparts up against the skin, and pull back firmly and steadily. Do not twist or pull back sharply, as this may tear the mouthparts from the body, leaving them embedded in the skin.
  • Do not use unapproved methods such as petroleum jelly, fingernail polish remover, or a lighted match: these methods are ineffective and could force more infective fluid into the skin.
  • After removal, wash the wound site and apply an antiseptic. You may take the tick to a physician’s office; identification of the tick species may assist the physician with your diagnosis and treatment.

Applying Arthropod Repellent

For added protection against biting insects and arthropods, use of insect repellent is recommended for your skin. The most commonly used repellent by both, military and civilian population, is a product that contains 20-50% DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide). DEET in higher concentrations is not recommended and is not proven to be more effective.

Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) Advisory

Recently, cases of Food-and-Mouth Disease have been identified in livestock in areas including Libya, Egypt, Sinai Peninsula, and the Gaza Strip. Foot-and-Mouth disease (FMD) is a severe, highly contagious viral disease that primarily effects animals with cloven hooves (cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, etc). Foot-and-Mouth Disease is not a threat to people and no human health risks are associated with this disease. This viral disease can cause severe losses in the production of meat and milk in livestock. Hince, an outbreak of FMD can have a catastrophic economic impact in a region, decreasing animal production and limiting movement and trade of animal products. The United Nations warns that the recently reported FMD outbreaks threatens stability for effected region. Public Health Command Region-Europe personnel have been monitoring the current FMD outbreak. At this time, the current FMD outbreak is not impacting U.S. military operations. However, this could change rapidly if the outbreak spreads. For more information about Foot-and-Mouth Disease, please see the following link:

Rabies Health Advisory

Rabies is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system. It is transmitted to humans through the saliva of infected animals. After the onset of symptoms, rabies is almost always fatal. Vaccinated pets are a barrier between humans and the wildlife reservoir of rabies. However, unvaccinated animals present a very high risk. Rabies is rare in Western Europe; however it is a major health risk in Eastern Europe and countries throughout Africa and Asia. DoD health officials would like to remind the U.S. military community to:

  • Follow General Order #1: Don’t keep mascots when deployed.
  • Avoid wild or unvaccinated animals.
  • If you are bitten or if an animal’s saliva contacts your broken skin, eyes or mouth, immediately wash the area with soap and water and seek immediate medical attention.
  • Report bite incidents immediately

For more information visit the United States Army Public Health Command Region-Europe Epidemiology website.

Measles Health Advisory

Europe is experiencing an unusual increase in measles cases. In 2010, more than 30,000 measles cases were reported by EU and EEA/EFTA countries; this number is five times higher than the normal average for the past 5 years. During the first 6 months of 2011, more than 26,000 cases were reported and 7 deaths. Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It is easily spread through the air by breathing, coughing or sneezing.

Department of Defense health officials in Europe stress the importance of adequate measles immunization, especially prior to travel and attendance at large public gatherings. Early vaccination of infants at 6-11 months of age may be considered for travel to an affected area or other special circumstances.

For more information, visit the United States Army Public Health Command Region-Europe Epidemiology website.

PHCR-Europe News

  

Public Health Command
USACHPPMEUR and Europe Regional Veterinary Command have been merged to form the United States Army Public Health Command (Provisional) Region-Europe. This website will be undergoing gradual changes during the coming months to reflect this reorganization. To read more about USACHPPM's transition to the U.S. Army Public Health Command, click here.
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Last Updated: 08 March 2013
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