What Is Japanese Encephalitis?

Posted on August 10, 2021

There are plenty of different diseases out there that you should be wary of as a traveller. And, the diseases that you need to look out for vary greatly depending on where in the world you're travelling to. 

If you're headed to Asia, you should be aware of a disease called Japanese Encephalitis. 

Japanese Encephalitis Explained

Japanese Encephalitis, also sometimes called JEV, is a virus that's related to yellow fever, the West Nile Virus, and Dengue fever. The first case of Japanese encephalitis was first documented in Japan way back in 1871.

Today the disease is far more common and can be found in many different countries in Asia. If you're heading to Asia, it's important to know which countries it's commonly found in.

Countries with Japanese Encephalitis Cases

Japanese Encephalitis is common in several travel destinations, including: 

  • Australia
  • Bangladesh
  • China
  • Guam
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Laos
  • Malaysia
  • Nepal
  • Cambodia
  • Burma
  • Pakistan
  • Papua New Guinea
  • The Philippines
  • Russia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Sri Lanka
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

If you're heading to any of these countries, know that you're there's a greater Japanese Encephalitis risk while travelling there.

Common Symptoms

To help you know whether or not you've caught JEV, you can look out for a few different symptoms. 

Most infections cause fever and headaches as well as stomach pain and vomiting. If you have a more serious case, you might experience:

  • High fever
  • Neck stiffness
  • Disorientation
  • Coma
  • Seizures
  • Paralysis
  • Migraines

Knowing what to look for helps you make sure that you stay safe while you're abroad. If you notice these symptoms, it's time to go to a doctor.

What Causes Japanese Encephalitis?

So, you know where Japanese Encephalitis is found and you know what symptoms to look for. But, how do you actually catch this disease?

Japanese Encephalitis is caused when infected mosquitoes bite a human. Once they have been bitten, humans don't spread it back to mosquitos. However, pigs and water birds can spread the disease back to healthy mosquitos which then pass it on to humans. 

The disease is fairly contagious and is quickly transmitted during the warm, summer season when mosquitoes are at their worst. If left untreated, the diseases can ultimately result in death. 

As of right now, the disease is not curable. Treatments are designed to help the body's natural infection-fighting systems. A successful recovery can often be made, however, and this typically takes several months.

Is Japanese Encephalitis Treatable?

Japanese Encephalitis, which is transmitted to humans when mosquitos feed on infected pigs and wild birds, currently has no treatment. Researchers are still looking for an antiviral treatment for people suffering from JEV. 

However, there are measures that doctors can take to help patients who are suffering from the disease. Most doctors who are treating Japanese Encephalitis in patients will offer medicine that reduces symptoms and boosts the patient's immune system. 

On top of that, patients can get the vaccine for Japanese Encephalitis. This can help prevent the further spread of the disease and stop patients from contracting this issue in the first place. 

What's more, you can reduce your risk for JEV by taking precautions against mosquito bites when travelling to areas where Japanese Encephalitis is common. A few measures you can take include wearing long-sleeved clothes, carrying vaporizers, using coils, and using mosquito repellents.

Even if you take these measures, however, it's important to get the vaccine before travelling. This simply ensures your safety while travelling abroad.

Where Do I Get the Vaccine for Japanese Encephalitis?

If you're concerned about contracting JEV, you can relax a little bit. The World Health Organization offers effective and safe vaccines for this disease in any country where there is a risk of contracting the disease. 

Different Types of Vaccines

As of right now, there are four different types of JEV vaccines that you can get. These vaccines include: 

  • Live attenuated vaccines
  • Inactivated mouse brain-derived vaccines
  • Live recombinant
  • Inactivated Vero cell-derived vaccines

Each of these vaccines is effective at preventing JEV and its spread. However, the most popular vaccine is the live vaccine known as SA14-14-2. This vaccine is created in China and is based on the Yellow Fever vaccine which's also widely used for disease control. 

Getting the vaccine is a fairly straightforward process. If you need to get vaccinated for Japanese Encephalitis, you can typically do so at a travel clinic. Be sure to call ahead to make sure that they have the vaccine on hand before scheduling an appointment.

How Much Does It Cost?

If you're needing a vaccine for Japanese Encephalitis, you can expect to pay a pretty penny. That's because each dose costs nearly $300. On top of that, you'll have to pay an administration fee of roughly $50. 

However, getting the vaccine is far more cost-effective than treatment for JEV. JEV treatments tend to be extremely expensive and cannot guarantee a full recovery of the patient. 

For short-term treatment of JEV, you can expect to pay as much as $30,000 in medical fees while out of country. If you're undergoing a longer treatment, your bill will be closer to $8,500.

Either way, this is a costly disease. Taking the right preventative measures, such as purchasing travel insurance and getting vaccinated, is critical to ensuring your safety while abroad.

Stay Away from This Deadly Virus

Now that you know what Japanese Encephalitis is, it's up to you to keep yourself safe. Making sure that you take the necessary precautions before travelling to Asia can help ensure you don't get this disease. 

You can also purchase insurance to help keep you safe. Call Insurdinary and we'll help you get the insurance you need to stay safe from this disease and many others on your trip.

Next Post:
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram