Viral encephalitis is inflammation of the brain, caused by any one of a number of viruses. Symptoms include high fever, headache, sensitivity to light, stiff neck and back, vomiting, confusion and, in severe cases, seizures, paralysis and coma. Infants and elderly people are particularly at risk of severe illness.
Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus, transmitted by mosquitoes in a cycle with water birds and sometimes pigs, is the leading cause of viral encephalitis in Asia. JE is endemic in parts of China, India, the Republic of Korea, Japan, the Russian Federation, islands in the Torres Strait of Australia, Nepal, Thailand, Viet Nam, Cambodia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka.
There is no JE-specific therapy other than supportive care. Most infections result in mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. However, around 1 in 300 infections results in symptomatic illness, which is characterized by a flu-like illness with sudden onset of fever, chills, headache, tiredness, nausea, and vomiting. The illness can progress to encephalitis (infection of the brain) and can be fatal in 30% of cases.
News and features
The Lao People’s Democratic Republic conducts a successful multi-antigen vaccination campaign and introduces Japanese encephalitis vaccine in its northern provinces
WHO annual accreditation visit to EPI laboratories in China
Third intercountry hands-on training on JE lab diagnosis, 24-27 October 2011
Newly accessible Japanese encephalitis vaccine will make saving children easier in developing countries
Meetings and events
Fourth Hands-on Training Workshop on the Laboratory Diagnosis of Japanese Encephalitis in the Western Pacific Region
Fourth Meeting on Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Laboratory Networks in the Western Pacific Region