What is Japanese Encephalitis?
Caused by mosquitos bites, the Japanese Encephalitis is very common viral diseases present around the parts of Asia and the Pacific Rim. Usually, the mosquitoes that carry the Japanese Encephalitis disease are active during the night, between the dusk to dawn and are very commonly found in the rural areas where the predominant activities involve rice cultivation and farming.
What are the symptoms of the Japanese Encephalitis?
Most often the symptoms of the Japanese Encephalitis are mild and rarely the patient will take notice of the disease. Although the symptoms usually remain mild and patients will heal, 30% of the infected people are prone to developing neurological problems and another 30% of them will also die from this disease. Most common symptoms are:
What are the high-risk areas?
The Japanese Encephalitis is located mainly in the Asian continent, which areas such as China, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Nepal, Philippines. You can find a full list here. You should note that the risk of getting the Japanese Encephalitis virus depends on the time of the year as well with rainy seasons being the time where the risks are the highest.
Who should get Vaccinated?
Certain activities such as camping, or fieldwork can increase a person’s risk, however, requiring vaccination. If you are not sure, please consult our friendly GPs at Midland Health to work out what is needed.
✔ If you are planning to travel and stay for at least one month in a high-risk country;
✔ If you are planning on visiting a rural area in one of those high-risk; countries, usually rice fields, marshlands or areas where you can find pig farms;
✔ If you are planning on taking part in any activities(cycling, camping) that are taking place in those areas;
✔ If you are working in a laboratory where you might be exposed to this virus;
The Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine
The Japanese Encephalitis is administered as an injection that comes in two doses to ensure full protection against the virus. The second dose will be given to you after 28 days since taking the first dose. Sometimes, the second dose can also be taken 7 days after the first one if you are 18 to 64 years old.
A booster is recommended if you are at risk of infection and it is usually given 12 to 24 months after you have received your first vaccine.
It is not recommended to have the vaccine if:
✔ you have a fever;
✔ you are breastfeeding or pregnant;
It is also not recommended to administer the vaccine to babies under two months as it is not as effective.
What are the side effects of the Japanese Encephalitis vaccine?
A rough estimate of 40% of the patient that gets vaccinated will experience mild side effects. They usually include:
✔ Soreness, tenderness and redness around the area of the injection;
✔ Mild headache
✔ Muscle pain
Although it’s very rare, some people might experience an itchy rash, face swelling and difficulty breathing. Always contact us in case you are concerned about a side effect.
How to prevent the risk of getting Japanese Encephalitis?
The vaccine against the Japanese Encephalitis is not 100% effective and you should always take extra precautions to be fully protected against the virus.
✔ Make sure that the room you are sleeping in has its windows and doors covered with close-fitting gauze to avoid mosquitoes entering;
✔ Use a mosquito nest if you are sleeping outside and use an insecticide;
✔ Use the insecticide in order to minimize the possibility of mosquitoes entering the room;
✔ Use long-sleeved clothes to cover yourself up and ensure they are loose-fitting as mosquitos can bite through skin-tight clothing;
✔ Use an insect repellent to any areas of your body that are exposed;
- Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine - £155
- Full Travel Health Consultation including vaccination administration (30 min) - £120
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