Japanese Encephalitis

What is Japanese Encephalitis?

Japanese encephalitis is a viral infection that is found in rural parts of Asia and is passed by the bite of an infected Culex mosquito. The mosquito that transmits Japanese encephalitis tends to bite outdoors at dusk and during the night until dawn. Local variations in rainfall and temperature affect the mosquito breeding but risk of infection is increased in rural agricultural areas. Incubation period is 6-16 days after bite. Most infections are mild, however some can lead to brain damage or death. Protection includes insect precautions and vaccination for individuals at sufficient risk.

Prevention

Insect precautions:

  • Cover skin with long sleeve shirts and pants. Consider treating outer clothing with permethrin product.
  • Wear light or medium-coloured clothing and avoid scented soaps and deodorants.
  • Apply insect repellent that contains either 30% DEET or 20% Icaridin, to exposed skin and clothing, especially at dusk and again at dawn.
  • Sleep under a permethrin-impregnated bed net or in an enclosed air conditioned room.
  • Nets should be used over cots, playpens and strollers to protect infants.

Immunization:

Vaccine name: Ixiaro®

Minimum age: 2 months

Primary series: 2 doses (28 days apart)

Booster: 1 dose within 2 years of primary series

Fee: $270

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