Japanese encephalitis is a disease spread via mosquito bites but actually originates in pigs and birds and is passed to mosquitoes when they bite infected animals. It is then transferred to humans on a second bite. The Japanese Encephalitis Vaccines recommended for some travelers to rural areas in the Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia and the Far East. If you want to learn more about the vaccination and book an appointment, then contact Miles Pharmacy’s travel clinic in Ashtead.
Is Japenese Encephalitis serious?
For those that catch the disease, mostly the illness is not severe and has symptoms similar to that of a cold or flu virus. However, for in every 250 people, the consequences can be serious and usually require admission to hospital.
The virus can spread to the brain and cause interference with or loss of speech, uncontrollable body tremors and muscle weakness or paralysis. 1 in 3 people who develop more serious symptoms will die as a result of the disease and around half will be left with permanent impairment including brain damage.
The Japanese Encephalitis vaccine
Japanese encephalitis is quite rare but it is still recommended that travelers have the JE vaccination particularly if they are traveling in rural areas where the disease is endemic.
The vaccine is the same for adults and children, there is no particular teen vaccine, all age groups are given the same one.
The vaccine is given as an injection and there are two doses with the second being administered 28 days after the first for full protection. There is a slight variation with teens for the second dose. Adults aged 18 to 64 may be given the second dose 7 days after the first but this is not recommended for teens and children who should wait the full 28 days.
Precautions and Contraindications
In common with any other vaccine, it is not unusual to feel mildly unwell for a few days after the injection has been given. More serious side effects can arise and these include a raised and angry red rash which is itchy, and sometimes swelling of the face or breathing difficulties.
The JE vaccine is safe for most people but standard precautions include not giving it to anyone who currently has a high fever and it is not recommended for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.
To find out more about the Japanese Encephalitis vaccine, contact Miles Pharmacy at their travel clinic in Ashtead.