Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a viral infection of the brain spread by the bite of an infected Culex mosquito; commonly found in Asia. Encephalitis itself is the actual swelling of the brain when infected, which can be fatal if not treated immediately.
Most people will experience no symptoms and those that do will notice flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache and fatigue. Children and elderly people are more likely to present symptoms of flu as well as stomach pains and convulsions. Symptoms are likely to onset after an incubation period of 5-15 days. Although JE rarely leads to infection of the brain; if it has become severe then the person will show signs of confusion, inability to speak and paralysis. If severe infection is suspected then please contact the nearest health professional immediately for further help.
Currently there is no cure for Japanese encephalitis other than supporting the body to fight off infection in hospital in the form of medication, oxygen and fluids. If JE is suspected the patient must be admitted to hospital immediately for further help.
The risk for most travellers to contract JE is low, those most likely to become infected are those travelling to rural areas of Asia based near farms and marshlands, because this is where the mosquito is mainly situated.
The best way to prevent infection is by preventing mosquito bites:
There is currently a single vaccination available in the UK for immuisation against Japanese Encephalitis. The course consists of a single vaccination followed up 28 days later by a second course. Boosters are recommended for those requiring ongoing immunity, which should be given 12-24 months after the initial course.
You can be vaccinated at our clinic today. A single dose costs £80. For further information please contact the pharmacy on 02089021328.