Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine

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What is Japanese encephalitis?

The Japanese encephalitis virus causes swelling of the brain and possible long-term nerve and brain damage. It is caused by a Flavivirus, spread to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.

What is my risk?    

Your risk depends on several factors: destination, length of trip, and your living conditions. Speak with one of our Travel Health Specialists to understand the risk of Japanese encephalitis for your trip.

Japanese encephalitis occurs in almost all Asian countries and parts of the western Pacific. 

The risk to most travellers is low, though there is higher risk of infection if they are doing outdoor activities or visiting rural areas.

How is it transmitted?       

The disease spreads to humans when they are bitten by an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes that carry Japanese encephalitis bite mainly from sunset to sunrise.  

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms can take between 5 and 15 days to appear. It is common for most people to show no symptoms.

Less than 1% of infected people develop encephalitis (brain swelling), which is fatal in about 20% to 30% of these cases.

In severe cases, symptoms usually appear suddenly, starting with fever, vomiting, and headaches.

Symptoms may also include coma, seizures, stiff neck, confusion, general weakness, movement disorders, mental or behaviour changes, paralysis (being unable to move), or possi ble long-term nerve and brain damage.

Can Japanese encephalitis be treated?

There is no specific treatment for Japanese encephalitis. However, medical care can help you recover and help control symptoms.

Where is Japanese encephalitis a concern?

Speak with one of our Travel Health Consultants to understand if Japanese encephalitis is a concern for your trip. 

It is mainly a threat in rural agricultural areas where there is widespread irrigation (artificial watering of crops). This includes areas with rice fields.

Recommendations

Speak with one of our Travel Health Specialists preferably six weeks before you travel.

Get vaccinated. Discuss whether vaccination is right for your with one of our Travel Health Specialists.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites, especially from sunset to sunrise.