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About japanese encephalitis
Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a mosquito-borne viral encephalitis caused by a flavivirus. It is the leading cause of childhood encephalitis in Asia. The global incidence of JE is unknown. However, recent estimates are that 67,900 clinical cases occur annually in 24 countries with JE risk (World Health Organization, 2015).
It is a severe and potentially deadly viral infection that is increasingly becoming an issue in the United Kingdom. Also known as Japanese B Encephalitis or JBE, this disease is caused by the Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), transmitted to humans from the bite of an infected mosquito. The most commonly affected areas in the UK are rural and suburban areas, with an increase in reported cases since 2001.
There's currently no cure for Japanese encephalitis. Treatment involves supporting the body's functions to fight off the infection. Fortunately, several methods are available to prevent transmission of JEV in individuals travelling to affected regions, including vaccinations before travel and vector control measures while abroad.
How can you get japanese encephalitis?
JE virus is transmitted to humans from animals and birds via the bite of an infected mosquito. The mosquitoes become infected by biting JE-infected animals (mainly pigs) or birds and are prolific in rural areas where flooded rice fields and marshes provide breeding grounds. However, they are also found in cities and urban locations.
Infected mosquitoes transmit the infection to humans and other animals when they bite them for their blood meal. People cannot spread JE from person to person through contact or respiratory secretions such as saliva or spit. However, transmission from mother to child during pregnancy is possible and can cause severe neurological damage to the baby.
Available service options
£105 per patient
Japanese encephalitis can cause severe complications, including brain damage and death. There is no cure for it.
£210 per patient
This service option includes two doses. Japanese encephalitis can cause severe complications, including brain damage and death. There is no cure for it.
Number of doses required and when to boost
Number of doses
When to boost
Two doses are required for a complete course. The schedule of the doses depends on individual circumstances.
Standard schedule: Days 0 and 28 days
Accelerated Schedule: Given on days 0 and 7in 18-64-year-olds when there is genuinely no time to complete the standard schedule.
One year if at continuous/further risk, and all others boost at 12-24 months. A second booster in 18-64 years olds offers at ten years.
Not sure what service option you need?
If you are unsure which vaccines you need for your holiday, why not take advantage of our travel health advice service? This service includes a personalised telephone consultation to determine your travel health requirements, including vaccination, altitude sickness, jet lag, period delay, travellers' diarrhoea and antimalarials.
High risk areas for japanese encephalitis
Japanese encephalitis is found throughout Asia and beyond. Most cases occur in:
Despite its name, Japanese encephalitis is now relatively rare in Japan due to mass immunisation programmes.
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Frequently asked questions
What are the symptoms of Japanese encephalitis?
Most people infected by the Japanese encephalitis virus have either no or mild, short-lived symptoms, often mistaken for flu.
But usually, within 5 to 15 days after infection, around 1 in every 250 people infected with Japanese encephalitis develop more severe symptoms as the infection spreads to the brain.
Symptoms can include:
a high temperature (fever)
a stiff neck
the inability to speak
uncontrollable shaking of body parts (tremor)
muscle weakness or paralysis
Up to 1 in every 3 people who develop these more severe symptoms will die from the infection.
In those who survive, these symptoms tend to improve slowly. But it can take several months to recover, and up to half of those who survive are left with permanent brain damage.
How common is Japanese encephalitis?
An estimated less than 1 in a million travellers get Japanese encephalitis in any given year. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates there are around 68,000 cases of Japanese encephalitis worldwide each year.
What should I do if I think I have Japanese encephalitis?
You should get immediate medical advice if you have any symptoms of Japanese encephalitis and you have recently visited, or are still in, an area where the infection is found. GOV.UK has information about who to contact when you need immediate medical help abroad.
If you're already back in the UK, see your GP.
How can I prevent Japanese encephalitis?
The best way to prevent Japanese encephalitis is to be vaccinated against the infection before you visit a part of the world where there's a risk of catching it. The vaccine, usually only available privately, protects against Japanese encephalitis in more than 9 out of 10 people who receive it.
Even if you have been vaccinated, you should still take precautions to reduce your risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito, such as:
sleeping in rooms with close-fitting gauze over the windows and doors – if you're sleeping outside, use a mosquito net that has been impregnated with insecticide
covering up with long-sleeved tops, trousers and socks
applying a good-quality insect repellent to exposed areas of skin
What are the side effects of the Japanese encephalitis vaccine?
Up to 40% of people who have the Japanese encephalitis vaccine experience mild and short-lived side effects.
soreness, redness or swelling at the site of the injection
More severe side effects, such as a raised, itchy red rash (urticaria or hives), swelling of the face and difficulty breathing, are rare.
If you develop any worrying symptoms after being vaccinated, contact your GP as soon as possible or call NHS 111 for advice.
Do I need a booster for the Japanese encephalitis vaccine?
The vaccine protects you for at least 12 months, so you need a booster 12-24 months later to remain protected after one year.
Where is this service available?
This service is available in our branches, which are commutable from anywhere in Yorkshire, including Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, York, Huddersfield, Sheffield, Barnsley, Hull, Doncaster, Ripon, Harrogate, Dewsbury, Keighley and Scarborough.
Are next-day appointments available?
Yes, you can get next-day appointments at all our branches. Contact our customer care team if you cannot find an available slot.
Next-day appointments are available at our branches.