Japanese Encephalitis

Medical Term: Japanese encephalitis   

Danger Zone: Asia

Transmission: Japanese encephalitis is transmitted by mosquitoes.

What is it: Japanese encephalitis is a viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes.

Symptoms: Symptoms of encephalitis initially include fever and headache, and during the acute stage, symptoms of encephalitis progress to include neck rigidity, neurological problems, weakness, and partial paralysis.

Prevention: Japanese encephalitis has vaccinations available for foreign travel, in addition to mosquito bite prevention.

Fatal: While the disease is not widespread, symptoms of encephalitis can prove fatal in many cases.

Japanese encephalitis is an example of a disease requiring visitors to Asia to look extensively into vaccinations for foreign travel. While it is not likely that you will contract the disease if your visit is limited to urban areas, it is still important to check with your doctor or the Center for Disease Control prior to your Asian vacation, since the transmission seasons vary by region. Whether you should get an immunization depends on the duration and location of your trip, so do some homework and consult a medical professional with current information on international health for travelers to Asia.

As with all diseases with mosquitoes acting as vectors, prevention aside from a vaccine includes packing or purchasing proper bug netting, staying away from extreme mosquito populations, and using insect repellant and/or covering bare skin. This is especially important due to the serious nature of the symptoms of encephalitis.

Note: Always consult your doctor or another qualified medical professional for the best information about international travel vaccinations.

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