Japanese Encephalitis Vaccination
- Low risk
- Moderate risk
- High risk
Japanese Encephalitis is a viral disease that predominates around 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, marshlands and piggeries.
Where is Japanese encephalitis found?
Japanese Encephalitis is found across South East Asia, and the northern tropical tip of Queensland in Australia. The most common areas include Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. It is found in areas where pigs and wading birds exist as well as in an area where mosquitos can breed.
Initially, when a person becomes infected, they may develop symptoms of fever, headache, nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting and aching muscles. The infection causes inflammation of the brain which can result in headaches, convulsions, encephalitis, meningitis and brain damage which can be fatal. It can also affect the heart, lungs and liver. About 30% of those with signs of infection will die from the disease.
Prevention is based around avoiding mosquito bites particularly during the hours of sunrise and sunset which is when the culex mosquito is most active. Use of insect repellents, appropriate clothing and mosquito nets should also be considered.
There is no specific treatment for Japanese encephalitis.
The vaccination for Japanese Encephalitis is given to adults over 18 years as a course of two injections. The second dose is given between 25 days and 32 days following the initial injection. It is advised to complete the course at least one week prior to departing but it can take up to a month for the body to develop full immunity to the disease. Boosters can be given one to two years after the first course.
<strong>Ixiaro</strong> is the vaccine which helps to protect against Japanese encephalitis and has been available since 1992. It is advised for people travelling to high risk places where Japanese encephalitis may occur and at Cosmopolitan Medical Clinic, our doctor or nurse will advise if you should consider having this vaccine. Women who are either pregnant or breastfeeding should discuss their itinerary and risk profile with our travel nurse.