Complications of tick-borne encephalitis  

It's estimated that more than one in every 10 people with tick-borne encephalitis will develop long-term or permanent complications as a result of the infection.

Complications that can occur include:

  • memory problems
  • personality and behavioural changes
  • speech and language problems (aphasia)
  • epilepsy – a condition that affects the brain and causes regular seizures (fits)
  • changes in emotions, such as mood swings
  • problems with attention, concentration, planning and problem solving
  • movement problems
  • low mood
  • fatigue (extreme tiredness)

Individual care plans

If you do develop these problems, a number of different specialists may be involved in your care while you recover in hospital and when you return home. These may include:

  • a neuropsychologist – a healthcare professional who specialises in brain injury and rehabilitation
  • an occupational therapist – who can identify problem areas in a person's everyday life, such as dressing or getting to the shops, and help them devise practical solutions
  • physiotherapist – who uses physical methods, such as massage, manipulation and exercise
  • a speech and language therapist – who uses specialist techniques to improve all aspects of communication

Before you're discharged from hospital, your health and social care needs will be fully assessed and an individual care plan drawn up to meet those needs.

Caring for someone with TBE

If you're the primary carer of someone recovering from TBE, such as their spouse or parent, you should be invited to discussions about their care plan. Your own circumstances and requirements should also be taken into account.

You should be given information about the support services available in your local community. You'll also find useful information and advice about caring for someone in the care and support section.

Caring for someone with emotional and behavioural problems can be stressful, so it's important you don't neglect your own mental and physical wellbeing. See carers' breaks and respite care for more information and advice.

Encephalitis Society

If you or someone you care for has complications of tick-borne encephalitis, The Encephalitis Society can provide you with appropriate sources of information and recommend the right professionals to help you.

You can speak to a member of their helpline and support team by phoning 01653 699 599.

Page last reviewed: 09/12/2015

Next review due: 09/12/2017