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Japanese Encephalitis (JE)  

What is Japanese Encephalitis (JE)?

  • Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a virus (JEV) transmitted via the bite of infected mosquitoes (mainly Culex species).

  • JE is found mainly in Asia and some parts of the Western Pacific 

What is at risk of JE?

  • Visit rural agricultural areas, in particular areas associated with rice production.

  • Take multiple trips or stay long periods in endemic areas

  • Outdoor activities at night in areas with mosquitos infected with the JEV

  • Although the risk is low, cases can be very serious for Canadians travelling to these regions it is estimated that there will be about cases in 1/10,000,000 trips

What are symptoms of JE?

  • The majority of JE cases are asymptomatic, but symptoms most often appear 5-15 days after infection. 

  • Possible symptoms include mild fever, headache and vomiting and can progress to seizures, neurological changes, muscle weakness and movement issues. 

  • JE can can also cause encephalitis (swelling of the brain)

  • About 20-30% of people infected will die, and 30-50% of survivors will have neurological, mental, and cognitive problems. 

What about the JE vaccine?

  • The Japanese encephalitis vaccine protects against this virus and has a two-dose series which is given on day 0 and 28. 

  • The second dose should be given at least 7 days before travel to ensure adequate protection.

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