Japanese Encephalitis Infection is one of the most deadly viral infections and takes lives every year. It is a viral brain infection that has been reported in Pune in a four-year-old boy. Following this, the Maharashtra health authorities launched a precautionary measure and ordered an eco-epidemiological survey at the place where it was first detected. Japanese Encephalitis cases have been on the rise in Assam and Mizoram for the past six months. Since July this year, as many as 400 cases of the infection were detected in Assam.
What is Japanese Encephalitis Infection?
Encephalitis is the inflammation of the brain caused by either infection or an allergic reaction. JE is one of the most common causes of encephalitis in India and a total of 68,000 cases are reported every year. JE is caused by a virus called flavivirus and it is primarily transmitted by Culex mosquitoes. The virus is maintained in pigs and wild birds which are called amplifier hosts. While man is the dead-end host. The virus is passed to mosquitoes when they bite infected animals.
Japanese Encephalitis Symptoms
While Japanese Encephalitis Infection does not show any symptoms, at times when it shows, they are mostly high fever, vomiting, headache, neck stiffness, movement disorders, seizures and others.
Japanese Encephalitis Treatment and Prevention
There is no cure for Japanese Encephalitis. It is said that those who suffer from JE may have permanent neurologic or psychiatric sequelae. However, there are four types of vaccines that help prevent JE— inactivated Vero cell-derived vaccines, inactivated mouse brain-derived vaccines, live attenuated vaccines, and live recombinant (chimeric) vaccines.
Two doses of JE vaccines are administered in India. The first dose is given when the child is 9 months to one year old. The second dose is given between 16 months to 2 years. Elderly people are also eligible to get the vaccine.