Spring through Summer is when we all start checking ourselves and our kids for ticks. Unfortunately Graz is in a high risk zone for FSME (tick-borne encephalitis) and Borreloise (Lyme disease). You can read more about these nasty diseases and how to protect yourself in this very informative blog post. If you remove the ticks quickly it greatly reduces the chance of infection. So after being outdoors (woods, grassy areas, even city parks) remember to do a daily tick check. And look everywhere! They are sneaky critters and can crawl up trousers into groin areas, under armpits, on your head. You can buy special tick tweezers from DM or an apotheke. Pull gently and make sure to remove the head too. If you later see signs of redness around a tick bite (especially a red circle) or have flu like symptoms visit a doctor.
There is a vaccine for FSME and it is highly recommended here. Your doctor can give it to you (you will need to pick up the vaccine from an apotheke first), they will charge a vaccination fee in addition to the vaccine cost . Or you can be vaccinated at the City of Graz’s Gesundheitsamt Schmiedgasse 26, for €20 (just the vaccine fee, no extra costs) between February and July, Mon to Fri 8:00 – 13:00. Another option for everyone in Steiermark is the Impfstelle der Landessanitätsdirektion,Friedrichgasse 9/EG, 8010 for €19. For those living just outside Graz, you can also get vaccinated at the Bezirkshauptmannschaft Graz-Umgebung im Sanitätsreferat, Bahnhofgürtel 85, 2. Stock, Zimmer Nr. 276, 8020 Graz for €19. Schools, companies and universities may also often offer vaccinations.
If this is your first time you will get 2 vaccinations a month apart, followed by one 5 – 12 months later, and then a booster every 3 – 5 years.