Japanese encephalitis is a mosquito-borne virus that leads to swelling of the brain. It can affect the central nervous system and cause severe complications, even death.
Japanese encephalitis can occur if you are bitten by a mosquito infected with the virus.
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.
The following factors increase your chance of being exposed to Japanese encephalitis. If you have any of these risk factors, tell your doctor:
Living or traveling in certain rural parts of Asia—According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been outbreaks of Japanese encephalitis in China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand. These countries have controlled the disease through vaccinations. Other countries that still have periodic epidemics include Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, India, Nepal, and Malaysia.
Being a laboratory worker who might be exposed to the virus
Symptoms of Japanese encephalitis usually appear 5-15 days after the bite from an infected mosquito. If you experience any of these symptoms, don’t assume it is because of Japanese encephalitis. These symptoms may be caused by other, less serious health conditions. If you experience any one of them, see your physician.
—a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures inside the body
—a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the body
Cerebrospinal fluid tests
Since there is no specific treatment for Japanese encephalitis, care is concentrated on treating specific symptoms and complications.
There is a
Japanese encephalitis vaccine
which is recommended for people who live or travel in certain rural parts of Asia (see names of countries
), and for laboratory workers who are at risk of exposure to the virus. Also, take the following measures to protect yourself from mosquito bites to prevent the disease:
Remain in well-screened areas.
Wear clothes that cover most of your body.
Use insect repellents that contain up to 30% NN-diethyl metatoluamide (DEET) on skin and clothing.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a