From The Conversation
November 13, 2018
If you’re travelling to Asia, you’re probably mindful of the risks of malaria, dengue, or Zika. But authorities are warning Australians to take care to avoid another mosquito-borne disease, Japanese encephalitis, when holidaying in the region, after a spike in cases in Indonesia.
Japanese encephalitic virus is part of the flavivirus family, which is also responsible for Zika, dengue and yellow fever.
Japanese encephalitis occurs in Asia and parts of the western Pacific, from Pakistan through to Papua New Guinea and north to Japan and parts of Russia. Almost 200,000 cases are estimated to occur each year.
Most people infected don’t suffer any symptoms. But around 1% of cases will result in severe illness. Symptoms include fever, headache and vomiting, which can progress to neurological complications, such as disorientation, seizures, and paralysis.
Of those who do suffer severe illness, almost one-third will die; while up to half of those who survive are left with long-term neurological impairment.