Learn More About Japanese Encephalitis, A Virus Spread By Mosquitoes

Here is an overview about a virus spread by mosquitos, the Japanese Encephalitis which allegedly took the lives of 9 Filipino this 2017.

Nowadays, diseases caused by virus-carrying mosquitoes such as dengue and malaria are only some of the most common and fatal diseases not only in the Philippines but also in different countries all around the world.

Japanese encephalitis is a virus spread by mosquitoes and related to dengue, yellow fever, and West Nile Viruses. It is a brain infection caused by mosquito-borne Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV), which is most prevalent in East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

The first case of Japanese encephalitis was recorded in Japan during 1871. The symptoms of JEV such as fever, headache, vomiting, confusion, and difficulty in moving occurs 5 to 15 days after the bitten by an infected mosquito.

JEV is now already in the country and has already infected 133 patients and killed 9 Filipinos since Jan 01 to August 26, 2017. Four deaths were recorded in Pampanga, two in Zambales, one in Nueva Ecija, one in Pangasinan, and one in Laguna.

The Department of Health (DOH) was set to introduce the JE vaccine in 2018, but it is now commercially available nationwide. As of now, there is no antiviral treatment available for patients, medication is prescribed just only to relieve symptoms.

The virus can be prevented by having a vaccination, wearing long-sleeved clothing, applying insect repellant, using coils or vaporizers around the area to prevent mosquito bites.