French regional public health authorities have reported an outbreak of tick borne encephalitis (TBE), primarily in the Rhone-Alpes-Provence region. As of 10 June 2020, 37 cases had been linked to the consumption of raw milk goat cheeses. The cheese producer has been named as GAEC des Chevrettes du Vieux Valey, located at Condamine in Haut-Bugey, Ain.
Advice for travellers
TBE is uncommon in people in France, but is widespread in Alpine areas of Europe and may occur in neighbouring rural areas. All travellers to endemic areas should be:
- aware of TBE, its transmission and clinical outcomes
- aware of activities that could potentially increase exposure to ticks, such as walking, camping and cycling in forested areas during tick season
- given advice on avoiding tick bites and prompt removal of ticks, the use of appropriate clothing and the use of insect repellents
- avoiding unpasteurised milk and milk-based products, including cheese
Vaccination, dependent on individual risk assessment, should be considered by:
- travellers to endemic countries during the tick season (spring to early autumn) who plan outdoor activities in forested areas (up-to-date guidance on endemic countries can be found on the TRAVAX (for health professionals) and fitfortravel (for the general public) websites)
- those planning to reside long-term or work, where the nature of the work increases the risk of exposure to ticks, in endemic areas
Further information on TBE can be found on the TRAVAX (for health professionals) and fitfortravel (for the general public) websites.
Source: TRAVAX, 17 June 2020