Japanese encephalitis is a viral disease that affects the brain. It is only found in certain parts of East Asia.
The infection is spread via a bite from an infected culex mosquito. The culex mosquito favours breeding sites in and around rice fields and pig farms. Currently, the most effective form of prevention is the Japanese encephalitis vaccination.
Most people who are infected show only mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. However, in severe cases the disease may be fatal. Japanese encephalitis begins like flu with headache, fever, and weakness. As it progresses to inflammation of the brain there may be confusion and delirium. Gastrointestinal problems, including vomiting, may also be present. About one third of these patients will die, and 25-30 per cent have neurological damage including paralysis, speech difficulties, Parkinson’s-like syndrome or psychological problems. Children are most vulnerable.
Most cases occur after the monsoon seasons in China, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal, India, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.
The best way to reduce the risk of contracting the disease is to reduce exposure to mosquitoes. This can be done by avoiding being outside in the cooler hours between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most actively feeding. The use of mosquito repellent, portable bednets, aerosol room insecticides and permethrin, which can be applied to clothing, is also recommended.
Currently two vaccines that protect against Japanese encephalitis are available in the UK: IXIARO and Green Cross. 2-3 doses of vaccine need to be given before travel. Individuals should consider being vaccinated if they are travelling to a country where Japanese encephalitis is present and where their stay maybe prolonged or they are involved in travel activities which may increase the risk of exposure to the disease, for example, staying in or around rural areas, jungle trekking. We are currently offering the Japanese Encephalitis Vaccination at a discounted price. Click here to book your free consultation now.