Ticks and other risks.

Let me present a few remarks on the subject of ticks and their associated risks.

First of all ticks exist all around the world and therefore one can get bitten at home on the garden, on a walk in city gardens etc... Actually my little Yorkshire gets bitten most often just when we walk him around the place we live.

Second, as to my knowledge the vaccination protects only against tick-borne encephalitis but a tick can bring lot more diseases, including Lyme disease that is very difficult to cure.

Third, based on my personal experience, vaccination series consists of three doses in the span of a few months (6-12). NATO would therefore probably have to vaccinate all NICs as when the selection for pre-deployment training starts it would be too late to start with it.
I would therefore recommend each potential participant to take his/her decision whether to get vaccinated or not. Experts also recommend taking vitamin B–complex, which makes a person less attractive to ticks.

On our side we brief participants several times on training safety and this brief always covers ticks including protection against it. We recommend all participants to be always properly dressed (long trousers, long sleeves), use repellent that we provide and check their bodies at every opportunity.

Talking about risks I also want to mention risk of rabies. Vyskov is not high risk area from this point of view and as of 2004 the Czech Republic was recognized as a whole country being free of rabies but on the other hand out in training area this risk may exist as everywhere else in the forest.

And last but not least, we train NATO civilians for deployments “in support of NATO operations and missions, wherever they may be”. Each potential participant should therefore consider the need for vaccination against various diseases with regard to his/her position and the related options for deployment. 

 

Jiri Nudcenko
Course Duty Officer