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What causes it? How is it transmitted?
Life cycle for JE
Life cycle for JE

Japanese Encephalitis (JE) is an illness caused by infection with a flavivirus that belongs to the family Flaviviridae. This virus is a part of a groupof viruses known asarboviruses that are spread by arthropods (mosquitoes or ticks).
The JE virus is carried by a variety of different mosquitoes. Mosquitoes spread the virus between humans and animals, and Culex annulirostris (common banded mosquito) is the most common mosquito that spread the JE virus in Australia.

What are the symptoms? How long do they last?

Most infected people develop little bit of symptoms or even no symptoms at all. If, unluckily, someone who develop into a more severe disease, Japanese encephalitis usually starts as a flu-like illness, with fever, chills, tiredness, headache, nausea, and vomiting. Confusion and agitation can also occur in the early stage. The illness can progress to a serious infection of the brain (encephalitis) and can be fatal in 30% of cases. Among the survivors, another 30% will have serious brain damage, including paralysis. These symptoms usually appear 6-8 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.

Can it be cured?

There is no specific treatment for Japanese encephalitis. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses, and no effective anti-viral drugs have been discovered. Even though there are no treatments for JE patients, the government has set up centers on treatment of symptoms and complications. In these centers, the patients will be given the correct diet, seizure control, and sensitive care will be provided with assistance. If the intracranial pressure raised, the patient will be given mannitol as it will control the pressure. The JE virus cannot be transmitted from person to person, therefore patients do not need to be isolated.

The following video gives you more information about Japanese Encephalitis:


Allen, J.C. (2010). Japanese encephalitis. Retrieved from http://www.dhpe.org/infect/jpenceph.html
Davidson, M. (2003, October). Japanese encephalitis. Retrieved from http://iceh.uws.edu.au/fact_sheets/FS_jap_enceph.html

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