Risk of Japanese Encephalitis is highest in India, South East Asia and remote region of North East Australia.
Japanese encephalitis is spread most often by mosquitoes, specifically those belonging to the Culex family. Wild birds and domesticated pigs can harbour the virus, and act as infection reservoirs. It can therefore be prevented by avoiding mosquito bites and/or infected areas. Whilst use of a DEET based insect repellents is imperative, travellers can also rely on the Japanese encephalitis vaccine. Once infected, though, there is no ‘cure’.
Symptoms typically become noticeable 5 to 15 days after initial infection. These can include anything form mild cold or flu-like symptoms to severe headaches, nausea or vomiting, confusion, fever and some patients experience seizures. Severe symptoms are linked to swelling of the brain. It causes around 17,000 deaths every year.
• Course: Two injections. A booster dose is suggested 12 to 24 months after the initial course.
• When to get vaccinated: It is advised to get vaccinated a full 2 weeks before travelling to ensure maximum protection from day one.
• Side effects: Side effects are rare but may include redness or pain at the injection site.
• Children: The vaccine is suitable for most children, however, we only vaccinate children aged 12 years and older.