Wójcik-Fatla et al.
The consumption of raw goat milk resulted in TBE in patients in Poland, 2022 “case report”
Pathogens. 2023;12(5):653. doi:10.3390/pathogens12050653

Apart from transmission by tick bites, the second route of TBE infection is the alimentary route due to the consumption of non-pasteurized milk and milk products. In Poland, the last cases of “milk fever” were reported in 2017. In August and September 2022, a cluster of eight TBE cases were reported, and two cases were described in more detail in a recent publication.

Case 1
The patient, a 63-year-old female, drank the same goat milk as the other seven individuals. A few days later, symptoms started with fever and pain in the spine and lower left limbs. TBE diagnosis was based on TBE IgM and IgG ELISA antibody detection. The second phase started after seven days. During hospitalization, the patient had fever, muscles weakness, and pain, followed by sleepiness, headaches, nausea, and vomiting. The patient was discharged after 18 days of hospitalization.

Case 2
The patient, a 67-year-old female, developed symptoms seven days after the consumption of raw goat milk. The patient suffered from headache, fever, vertigo, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. TBE ELISA IgM and IgG were positive. The second phase started fourteen days later. The patient was hospitalized for 21 days.

Both patients had a biphasic course of illness with no symptoms of central nervous system involvement.

Vaccination and avoiding the consumption of non-pasteurized milk remain the most effective ways of preventing TBE. In Poland, TBE vaccination coverage is low. However, the number of vaccinated individuals has increased over the last years – 67,527 in 2021 compared to 27,849 in 2015.

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