Nervous System Channel
Related Channels

Japanese Encephalitis

Statistics on Japanese Encephalitis

Japanese encephalitis is the leading cause of viral encephalitis in Asia, where 30,000 to 50,000 cases are reported each year. The disease is rare, however, in American travelers to Asia.
The chance that a traveler to Asia will get Japanese encephalitis is small:
  • Only certain mosquito species can spread Japanese encephalitis
  • In areas infested with mosquitoes, only a small portion are usually infected with the virus
  • Among people who are infected by a mosquito bite, only 1 in 50 to 1 in 1,000 will develop an illness.
On average, less than one case per year of Japanese encephalitis is reported in American civilians and military personnel traveling to and living in Asia. Since 1981, only five cases among Americans traveling or working in Asia have been reported.

Who Is at Risk for Japanese Encephalitis?

Anyone can get Japanese encephalitis, but some people are at an increased risk, including:
  • People living in rural areas where the disease is common
  • Active-duty military personnel deployed to areas where the disease is common
  • Travelers to rural areas where the disease is common (very small increased risk).

Treating Japanese Encephalitis

There is no specific treatment for Japanese encephalitis. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses, and no effective antiviral drugs have been discovered. Care is focused on treatment of symptoms and complications.

Preventing Japanese Encephalitis

A vaccine is licensed for use in American travelers to rural areas where Japanese encephalitis is common. The vaccine is recommended only for people who plan to travel in these areas for four weeks or more, except in special circumstances, such as an ongoing outbreak of disease.
Because of the potential for other mosquito-borne diseases in Asia, all travelers should take steps
to avoid mosquito bites. The mosquitoes that transmit Japanese encephalitis feed mainly outside during the cooler hours at dusk and dawn. Travelers should minimize outdoor activities at these times, use mosquito repellent on exposed skin, and stay in air-conditioned or well-screened rooms. Travelers to rural areas should use a bednet and aerosol room insecticides.
Know the Signs - Concussion Safety

Types of Encephalitis

Terms of Use
Advertise with Us
Contact Us
About eMedTV
Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2006-2018 Clinaero, Inc.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.