Around a third of people who have severe Japanese encephalitis suffer from long-term complications.1
How do people catch this disease?
When they’re bitten by infected mosquitoes which carry the virus.1
Which countries are affected?
Asian countries from India to Japan (see map). The risk is greater in rural areas.2
What are the symptoms?
Fever, chills, headache, muscle pain, mental confusion, spasms in the neck and spine and muscle weakness.1
How serious is the disease?
Most cases of Japanese encephalitis are asymptomatic. In rare cases, however, inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) occurs, and about half of the severe cases have a fatal course.1 Approximately 30% of those who survives the infection suffer permanent neurological, physical or psychological damage.1
Can I reduce the chances of catching the disease?
You can take the following precautions to help reduce your risk of infection:
Wear appropriate clothing (e.g long-sleeved clothes and long trousers)4
World Health Organization. Weekly Epidemiological Record. WHO Position Paper on Japanese Encephalitis. February 2015. Available online: http://www.who.int/wer/2015/wer9009.pdf (last accessed September 2020)