Japanese Encephalitis

What is it?

Japanese encephalitis is caused by a Flavivirus.

What is my risk?

Travelers who go to Asia are at risk for getting Japanese encephalitis. For most travelers the risk is extremely low but depends on where you are going, the time of year, your planned activities, and the length of the trip. You are at higher risk if you are traveling to rural areas, will be outside frequently, or will be traveling for a long period of time.  In mild climates in northern Asia the risk for JE is greater in the summer and fall. In tropical and subtropical areas, there is a risk year-round.

How is it transmitted?

The disease spreads to humans when they are bitten by an infected mosquito. Japanese encephalitis is found in almost all Asian countries and parts of the western Pacific

What are the symptoms?

 Symptoms usually take 5-15 days to develop and include fever, headache, vomiting, confusion, and difficulty moving. Symptoms that develop later include swelling around the brain and coma. JE is a serious disease that may cause death.

Can it be treated?

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

How can I prevent it?

  1. Get the J Encephalitis vaccine (The JE vaccine is given in 2 doses that are spaced over a month. You should get the last dose at least 10 days before your trip).

  2. Protect yourself from mosquito bites by using DEET-containing products and covering exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shits, long pants and hats