Dr. Rohit Pai

Consultant - Neurology

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Reviewed by

Dr. Rohit Pai

Consultant - Neurology

Manipal Hospitals, Mangaluru

Japanese Encephalitis : Understanding The Prospects And Facts

Reviewed by:

Dr. Rohit Pai

Posted On: Jan 05, 2023

blogs read 4 Min Read

Japanese Encephalitis treatment in Mangalore

A viral infection spread by mosquitoes causes Japanese encephalitis. When a mosquito carrying the virus bites a human, it can contract the sickness. Though it is extremely uncommon among travelers, it is most prevalent in rural areas of Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Far East. When mosquitoes attack infected animals, they spread the virus, which is present in pigs and birds. It cannot be transferred from one person to another.

Currently, there is no treatment for Japanese encephalitis. Supporting the body's processes to fight off the infection is part of the treatment. To receive fluids, oxygen, and medication to address any symptoms, the patient typically needs to be admitted to the hospital.

Clinical illness incidence varies from year to year within and between endemic countries, ranging from one to more than ten per 100,000 people or higher during outbreaks. According to a literature study, there are roughly 68,000 clinical cases of Japanese encephalitis annually, with 13,600-20,400 fatalities worldwide. Child victims are the majority. People of any age may be impacted, but in endemic regions, most adults have developed natural immunity because of childhood illness.

Signs and Symptoms of Japanese Encephalitis

The majority of those who contract the Japanese encephalitis virus have either no symptoms or mild, transient symptoms that are frequently mistaken for the flu. However, as the infection spreads to the brain, approximately one in every 250 people infected with Japanese encephalitis develops more severe symptoms. After infection, this often occurs 5 to 15 days later.

Common Symptoms Include:

  • Fever

  • Seizures

  • A stiff neck

  • Confusion

  • Inability to speak.

  • Uncontrollable shaking of body parts.

  • Muscle weakness or paralysis

When these more severe symptoms appear, up to 1 in 3 people will pass away from the infection. These symptoms typically become better over time in individuals who survive. Long-term issues can result from this, including tremors and twitches, personality changes, muscle weakness, learning challenges, and paralysis in one or more limbs.

Japanese EncephalitisTransmission

  • The WHO includes 24 nations that involve the possibility of Japanese encephalitis transmission across Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific, which is home to more than 3 billion people.

  • Humans become infected with Japanese encephalitis through mosquito bites from infected Culex species (primarily Culex tritaeniorhynchus). Humans, once infected, do not produce enough viremia to infect feeding mosquitos. The virus is spread by mosquitoes, pigs, and water birds in a cycle (enzootic cycle). In rural and peri-urban areas, where people live close to these vertebrate hosts, the disease is most prevalent.

  • It is primarily spread during the summer season, when severe epidemics can happen, throughout the majority of Asia's temperate regions. Transmission can happen year-round in the tropics and subtropics, but in areas where rice is grown, it frequently picks up during the rainy season and just before harvest.

Diagnosis of Japanese Encephalitis

  • If someone experiences any of the symptoms of Japanese encephalitis and has recently been or is present in an area where the sickness is found, they should seek emergency medical attention. If any person has visited a region where Japanese encephalitis is prevalent and experiences the symptoms listed above, they should consult a neurologist in Mangalore. The tests are recommended by the healthcare provider for diagnosing Japanese encephalitis virus infection.

  • Confirmation of Japanese encephalitis and exclusion of other encephalitogenic causes require laboratory testing. In a single sample of serum or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), the WHO advises using an IgM-capture ELISA to check for the IgM antibody specific for Japanese encephalitis. It is preferable to test CSF samples to lower the likelihood of false-positive results from prior infections or vaccinations.

  • The disease is primarily monitored syndromically for acute encephalitis syndrome. It is common practice to conduct confirmatory laboratory testing at designated sentinel sites, and initiatives are made to increase laboratory-based surveillance. In nations where vaccination effectively controls Japanese encephalitis, case-based surveillance is established.

Treatment of Japanese Encephalitis

There is no antiviral therapy available for patients with Japanese encephalitis. Japanese encephalitis treatment in Mangalore is supportive of symptom relief and patient stabilization.

Prevention and Control for Japanese Encephalitis

The easiest way to avoid contracting Japanese encephalitis is to get immunized against it before travelling to a region of the world where there is a chance of exposure. If someone intends to travel to rural places or go trekking or camping, the danger is greater.

More than 90% of those who take the vaccination, which is often only made available privately, experience protection from Japanese encephalitis. One should still take actions to lessen their risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito even if they have received vaccinations, such as:

  • Sleeping in spaces covered in tightly-fitting gauze at the windows and doorways Use an insecticide-impregnated mosquito net if you're sleeping outside.

  • Cover up with long-sleeved clothing, socks, and pants.

  • Applying effective insect repellent to exposed skin.

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