Japanese Encephalitis is a leading viral encephalitis in Asia. Learn about its symptoms and prevention in this article.
A healthy child is a blessing. Parents do everything in their power to ensure that their children have a disease-free childhood so that they have a strong foundation for good health and success in their adult lives.
An important step in facilitating this, is being aware of common childhood diseases, being able to to recognize their symptoms and knowing preventive measures against them.
This article looks at Japanese Encephalitis (JE), a disease that is caused by a virus spread by infected mosquitoes. It is a potentially severe disease that can lead to inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) and is often accompanied by seizures. In some cases, coma and paralysis can also occur.1,2,3
About 20-50% of encephalitis cases result in death.1
What is Japanese Encephalitis and how does it spread?
Japanese Encephalitis is a viral brain infection caused by JE virus. JE is closely related to West Nile encephalitis, dengue, and yellow fever.
Mosquitoes, particularly the Culex Tritaeniorhynchus mosquito, pick up the virus from feeding on infected birds and pigs. Infected mosquitoes can then transmit the virus to humans through their bites.1,2
The disease has a long history, with the first clinical case of Japanese Encephalitis being documented in Japan in 1871.3 Despite this fact, there is no specific treatment for it to date.1
Recognizing the symptoms
Most human infections are asymptomatic or result in only mild symptoms.1,2,3
However, 1 out of 250 infections will rapidly progress into severe complications such as inflammation of the brain (encephalitis)1,2,3.
Symptoms typically develop 5 to 15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito and include2,3:
- Seizures (especially in children)
- Loss of speech
Click on the next page to find out more about the prevention of Japanese Encephalitis.