Japanese encephalitis is a viral brain infection spread by the bite of an infected Culex mosquito. It is common in rural South East Asia, Pacific Islands and Indian subcontinent but rare for travellers. The virus is usually found in pigs & birds and cannot be transmitted directly from person to person. There is no specific cure for Japanese Encephalitis.
The best way to prevent Japanese encephalitis is to be vaccinated against the infection before travelling. Even if vaccinated still take precautions to reduce the chance of being bitten by mosquitos by:
- Cover exposed skin earing long sleeved shirts, trousers & socks
- Using a good insect repellent
- Use a mosquito net which is big enough to cover you without leaving any gaps
- Stay indoors after sunset as the mosquitos are most active around dusk & evening
Most people infected with Japanese encephalitis don’t experience symptoms or mild short-lived flu like symptoms but in severe cases may develop severe symptoms as the virus spreads to the brain.
Symptoms can include:
- Muscle weakness
- Uncontrollable tremors
- Confusion and agitation
- Encephalitis itself (inflammation of the brain) which can lead to brain damage even be fatal
Japanese Encephalitis Vaccination
Course of two doses over a 28-day period. A rapid course is available over 7 days.
£90 per dose