Taking a trip to any part of the world can be for any reason; research purposes, work related or recreation. Before travelling to any part of the world, one must ensure you are safe and free from any disease. If possible, take vaccines and immunise yourself to prevent catching any disease from such areas. One of such disease that one can contract while on a trip is Japanese encephalitis, that is common in many countries of Asia.
Japanese encephalitis is a very serious viral disease that is caused by a virus that belongs to the same genus as yellow fever, dengue and West Nile virus, and is a mosquito-borne flavivirus.
Japanese encephalitis virus is transmitted to humans from infected mosquitoes of the culex species. The disease is prevalent in rural areas of close proximity between humans and the host.
Transmission is mostly during the warm period. This disease is mainly found in Japan, hence the name. However, it has extended beyond Japan and can even be found in places like Australia.
About one-third of people who are infected do not experience symptoms, another third die while the remaining percentage suffer long term neurological problems. The symptoms that some people experience are;
There is no treatment available for Japanese encephalitis, however, treatment will be administered to provide relief from the symptoms. At The Travel Clinic, we would advice patients who are infected to come over to our clinic and get treated, this is because ignoring the disease will ultimately lead to death.
As the name implies, one will generally assume that it is found only in Japan. However, Japanese encephalitis occurs in South East Asia, Australia and of course, Japan. The thing to note is that the Japanese encephalitis virus is found mostly in areas where mosquitoes breed.
With the fact that there is no cure for Japanese encephalitis, it is therefore important to get vaccinated against the virus, especially if you find yourself in such areas or plan to make a trip to such areas. Vaccination against Japanese encephalitis involves a drug named Ixiario. It is injected in two doses, into the deltoid muscle of the arm. The second injection is administered 27 days after the first dose, on the 28th day.
After vaccination, you will still need regular boosters every 1-2 years, in order to protect you from contracting the nasty disease.
Who can get vaccinated?
Anyone can get vaccinated against the Japanese encephalitis. It is been discovered that Japanese encephalitis is mostly common in children. Because of this, the vaccine is open to be used by anyone including children.
Although rare, but there have been some reports of side effects of the vaccine. It is usually mild and can include pain, inflammation, flu-like symptoms and even redness of the injected area. In very rare cases, there have been reports of migraines or vertigo.
The duration of the protection period of the vaccines cannot be said for sure. No one really knows how long the protection will last. However, if the person is at a risk area, aged 17 and above, a booster might be recommended especially if the vaccine was administered over a year earlier.
At The Travel Clinic, we provide immunization and vaccination services against Japanese encephalitis, especially for travellers. We have a well-qualified team to provide you with information regarding Japanese encephalitis.
The cost of Japanese encephalitis vaccines called Ixiario is £150 per dose.
Japanese encephalitis is common in rural areas where mosquitoes are abundant, as a result, anyone who spends regular time in such areas should top the list of people who needs the vaccine. People who also need the vaccine against Japanese encephalitis include;
Mosquitoes thrive mostly during the rainy season. To prevent infection during these periods, it is advisable to get vaccinated during the rainy season, when the rate of infestation is high.
You can refrain from getting a vaccine in the following situations
You can prevent infection from Japanese encephalitis virus by doing the following
It would be disastrous if your trip were interrupted due to a bout of Japanese encephalitis. Contact us today at The Travel Clinic in order to get vaccinated, or to get advice on how to prevent Japanese encephalitis