Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV)
is a flavivirus related to dengue, yellow fever and West Nile viruses. It is transmitted to humans through bites from infected mosquitoes of the Culex species. Domestic pigs and wild birds are reservoirs of the virus. In most temperate areas of Asia, JEV is transmitted mainly during the warm season while in the tropics and subtropics, transmission can occur year-round but often intensifies during the rainy season and pre-harvest period in rice-cultivating regions.
JEV is the main cause of viral encephalitis in many Asian countries with an estimated 68,000 clinical cases every year.
It takes 5 to 15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito to develop symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms
- Mild fever and headache
1 in 250 infections results in severe clinical illness
20% – 30% of those who survive suffer permanent intellectual, behavioral or neurological problems.
The case-fatality rate can be as high as 30%.
www.who.int; www.cdc.gov; https://www.rappler.com/nation/182037-doh-doctors-no-need-panic-japanese-encephalitis-philippines
There is no antiviral treatment for patients with Japanese encephalitis (JE). Treatment which may include hospitalization, respiratory support and intravenous fluids is for supportive care to relieve symptoms and stabilize the patient.
Prevention and control
- Vaccine against JE virus is available. Consult your doctor for proper advice and recommendation.
- Self-protection measures to prevent mosquito bites like wearing of long-sleeved shirts, long pants and use of insect repellants as directed.
The Department of Health (DOH) says there is no need to panic over JEV which has claimed the lives of 9 people this year. The cases recorded as of August 26, 2017 is 44% lower than the data recorded during the same period last year.
DOH is firming up plans for the inclusion of the JE vaccine in the country’s national immunization program in 2018.
The Food and Drug Administration also warns the public against JE vaccines being sold online and through unauthorized dealers which could be risky. The safest way to avail of the vaccine is from the doctor who will administer the shot.