It's not just their hooligans you need to worry about!

Thousands of England football fans are planning the trip of a lifetime to Russia to watch the World Cup this summer.

But it's not only the threat of Russian hooligans that have pledged to 'unleash hell' during the tournament they should worry about.

A charity today warned ticks carrying deadly diseases are rife in the host country, as football's most prestigious competition is now just weeks away.

They can harbour tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), a viral infection that attacks the central nervous system and can cause brain swelling or meningitis.

The Encephalitis Society claimed the ticks can be found in Kaliningrad, Volgograd and Nizhny Novgorod - where England are to play their three group games.

Ava Easton, chief executive of the charity, warned they are a 'serious health concern' for up to 20,000 English travellers expected to make the journey.

Thousands of England football fans are planning the trip of a lifetime to Russia to watch the World Cup this summer (a group are pictured in Lille two years ago at the Euros)

Thousands of England football fans are planning the trip of a lifetime to Russia to watch the World Cup this summer (a group are pictured in Lille two years ago at the Euros)

The Encephalitis Society said the ticks can be found in Kaliningrad, Volgograd and Nizhny Novgorod - where England are to play three group games (low indicates no available data)

The Encephalitis Society said the ticks can be found in Kaliningrad, Volgograd and Nizhny Novgorod - where England are to play three group games (low indicates no available data)

'Thousands of football supporters travelling to Russia may be at risk of being bitten by a disease-carrying tick if they visit a TBE risk area,' she said.

'Particularly if they are planning sightseeing or outdoor activities in forested or grassy areas - including walking, hiking, cycling and camping.

'This could result in a severe illness and so we urge travellers to speak to their healthcare professionals for advice at least 4-6 weeks before they go.' 

Russia, which stretches 6,612,100 square miles (17,125,200 square km), has the highest number of reported TBE cases across the world, according to figures.

Data from experts Irkutsk State Medical University data shows there was 1.9 cases of TBE per 100,000 people in Russia across the last decade.

It's not only the threat of Russian hooligans that have pledged to 'unleash hell' during the tournament England fans should worry about

It's not only the threat of Russian hooligans that have pledged to 'unleash hell' during the tournament England fans should worry about

Russian hooligans are warning that England fans choosing to attend the World Cup later this year are handing themselves a 'death sentence

Russian hooligans are warning that England fans choosing to attend the World Cup later this year are handing themselves a 'death sentence

FIFA was forced to release a statement saying they are confident in the host nation's ability to guarantee football fans' security following violent incidents involving Russian ultras in Spain

FIFA was forced to release a statement saying they are confident in the host nation's ability to guarantee football fans' security following violent incidents involving Russian ultras in Spain

WHAT IS TICK-BORNE ENCEPHALITIS? 

Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is a viral infection that attacks the central nervous system and can cause brain swelling or meningitis.

Most patients with TBE will recover, but a third may suffer long-term complications, including convulsions and paralysis. A vaccine is available.

There are no specific treatments for TBE, but preventative measures can be taken, including wearing long-sleeved tops and applying insect repellent.

It isn't found in the UK - but is prevalent in most regions of Europe,

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