Ja­panese En­cephali­tis

Australian Health Today - - Aht Travel -

Symp­toms

Ja­panese en­cephali­tis is a vi­ral in­fec­tion trans­mit­ted by mos­qui­toes. Many in­di­vid­u­als in­fected with Ja­panese en­cephali­tis virus will have very mild or no symp­toms. How­ever, in some cases Ja­panese en­cephali­tis can cause in­flam­ma­tion of the brain (en­cephali­tis) re­sult­ing in:

• headache

• high fever

• dis­ori­en­ta­tion

• coma

• tremors

• fits

In such cases, in­fec­tion can lead to per­ma­nent brain dam­age or be fa­tal.

Pre­ven­tion

Vac­ci­na­tion is the most ef­fec­tive form of pre­ven­tion against Ja­panese en­cephali­tis. It is very im­por­tant to speak to your travel GP at least 6 weeks be­fore trav­el­ing overseas, to see if you need a Ja­panese en­cephali­tis vac­cine. Once in­fected, there is no spe­cific treat­ment for the dis­ease.

Risk re­gions

The risk of in­fec­tion is high­est in Asian coun­tries, in­clud­ing sev­eral com­mon travel des­ti­na­tions from Aus­tralia (China, Ja­pan, Korea, Tai­wan, the Philip­pines, Viet­nam, Cam­bo­dia, In­done­sia, Laos, Thai­land, Malaysia, Pa­pua New Guinea and In­dia). Whilst rare out­breaks have oc­curred in the outer Tor­res Strait Is­lands, only one lo­cally ac­quired in­fec­tion has ever been re­ported in Aus­tralia (far north Queens­land).

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