Japanese encephalitis is a viral brain infection that is spread through the bite of a mosquito. It is in the same family as dengue, yellow fever and West Nile virus primarily affecting children and causing approximately 20,000 deaths per year.
Japanese encephalitis is caused by the flavivirus. It is passed from animals to humans through the bite of a mosquito. It was originally found in pigs and birds who first transmitted the disease through Culex mosquitoes which breed in water pools and flooded rice fields. They bite primarily during the night and at sunset. The virus cannot be transmitted person-to-person, rather, only through a mosquito bite.
If you are planning on travelling to a country where Japanese encephalitis is endemic you should consider getting the Japanese Encephalitis vaccine. Japanese encephalitis is endemic over a large geographic area which extends from the East and Western Pacific islands such as Japan and the Philippines to India and the west end of Pakistan as well as from northern China (up to the Tibet region) to Papua New Guinea and Northern Australia as of the 90’s.
According to the World Health Organisation, the Japanese encephalitis vaccine is 99.3% effective. A single dose of the vaccine is highly effective in preventing Japanese encephalitis when the vaccine was given even only days or weeks prior to being exposed to the virus.
You should take additional precautions, such as mosquito netting, insecticide, wearing loose fitting clothing, long sleeves and socks, and use aircon where possible.
Whilst the Japanese encephalitis vaccine is considered both safe and effective, there are some people who should not have the vaccine:
Anna Pharmacy has the Japanese encephalitis vaccine available in Hackbridge, Sutton, Croydon, Wallington and Carshalton.