Japanese encephalitis


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What is Japanese encephalitis?

Japanese encephalitis is a disease spread to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. It is caused by a flavivirus similar to West Nile Virus. It cancause swelling of the brain, and possible long-term nerve and brain damage.

Japanese encephalitis can be prevented with a vaccine.

What is my risk? 

The risk to most travellers is low, particularly for those staying in urban areas.

Travellers to countries where Japanese encephalitis occurs are at greater risk if:

How is it transmitted?   

What are the symptoms?        

Can Japanese encephalitis be treated?    

There is no specific treatment for Japanese encephalitis but medical care can help with recovery and the control of symptoms.

Where is Japanese encephalitis a concern?   

A map of countries and risk areas for Japanese encephalitis is available on the World Health Organization’s website.

Recommendations

Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.

  1. Protect yourself from mosquito bites
  2. Consider getting vaccinated
    • Most travellers going to countries where Japanese encephalitis occurs are at low risk; however, those who may be at high risk should consult a health care provider to discuss the benefits of getting vaccinated.
    • It is recommended that the following travellers consider getting vaccinated:
      • Those spending one month or more in a rural or urban area where Japanese encephalitis is present.
      • Those spending less than one month in a rural or urban area where Japanese encephalitis is present, but spending a large amount of time outdoors, particularly at night.
  3. Monitor your health
    • If you develop symptoms similar to Japanese encephalitis when you are travelling or after you return, see a health care provider and tell them where you have been travelling or living.
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