Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV) is a virus spread by mosquitos and is related to Dengue, Yellow fever, and West Nile viruses.
The first case of Japanese Encephalitis was documented in Japan year 1981.
JEV is the main cause of viral encephalitis in many Asian countries, with an estimated 68,000 clinical cases annually.
Department of Health (DOH) has recorded fifty-seven (57) cases of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) from January to August of 2017. Nine (9) of this JE cases lead to death. Four (4) of the fatalities are from the Province of Pampanga, two (2) from Zambales and three (3) from Pangasinan, Laguna, and Nueva Ecija.
Most JEV infections are mild (fever and headache) or without apparent symptoms, but approximately 1 in 250 infections results in severe clinical illness. Severe disease is characterized by:
- rapid onset of high fever,
- headache, neck stiffness,
- spastic paralysis and
- ultimately death.
JEV is transmitted to humans through bites from infected mosquitoes of the Culex species (mainly Culex tritaeniorhynchus).
The virus exists in a transmission cycle between mosquitoes, pigs and/or water birds.
The disease is predominantly found in rural and periurban settings, where humans live in closer proximity to these vertebrate hosts.
Treatment and Prevention
There is no antiviral treatment for patients with JE. Treatment is supportive to relieve symptoms and stabilize the patient. However, one may prevent acquiring such condition through, vaccination, use of repellents, long-sleeved clothes, coils and vaporizers.
Sources: World Health Organization, http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/09/04/17/doh-9-die-of-japanese-encephalitis. Image Source: https://www.emojirequest.com/r/MosquitoEmoji