Annual FSME toll clocks 20

Twenty people have suffered from FSME (tick-borne encephalitis) so far this year after being bitten by ticks across Austria, it has been announced.ARGE Gesundheitsvorsorge said today (Weds) all cases could have been avoided since none of the affected people were vaccinated against the dangerous disease. The healthcare body added two of the victims were children aged eight and 10.It stressed that vaccinations were available across Austria anytime.Most cases so far this year occurred in the northern province of Upper Austria with seven, followed by Styria where five people fell sick.Around 100,000 Austrians are bitten by ticks between March and October every year, while eight in 10 Austrians are already protected by vaccination. There were an overall 79 cases of FSME in Austria last year.Hannover 96 coach Mirko Slomka said earlier this week all squad members will be vaccinated against FSME as the German Bundesliga side will come to hold Bad Radkersburg, Styria, for a pre-season training camp involving several forest runs later this month.Austrian national star Emanuel Pogatetz, who joined the team from Middlesbrough FC recently, approved the decision. “This step just proves that my new club acts in a very professional way,” he said.