Japanese encephalitis

Latest update: - Authors: Mieke Croughs, Ula Maniewski-Kelner

Japanese encephalitis is an infection spread by Culex mosquitoes. These mosquitoes bite mainly from dusk until dawn.

Disease symptoms can occur five to fifteen days after the infection:

  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Headaches

In most people the disease is mild, and the symptoms heal within a few days. A minority develop neurological symptoms with cerebral infections or meningitis. In that case there is a high risk of permanent residual injuries or even death.

No specific treatment is available.

The risk of Japanese encephalitis is very low for travellers, but it does increase with long-term stays or stays in rural areas.

Risk areas

This disease occurs only in South and Southeast Asia (from India to Japan) and the most Northeastern part of Australia (map).

Prevention

Protection against mosquitoes

Closely observe the mosquito-repellent measures in the evening and night.

Vaccination

A good and safe vaccine is available.

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