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What is Japanese Encephalitis?
Japanese Encephalitis is a disease caused by a virus that infects the brain. The infection of the brain may cause brain swelling, bleeding and/or nerve damage. The illness can cause permanent nerve damage, and in its most severe form can be fatal.
Who develops Japanese Encephalitis?
Travellers to regions of the People’s Republic of China, Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and parts of Oceania where there is a risk of mosquito transmission. The vaccine is NOT recommended for all travellers to Asia, only those who are at risk by travelling to areas with pigs and wading birds.
How is Japanese Encephalitis contracted?
Through the bite of an infected mosquito carrying the virus. Mosquitoes contract the virus from pigs and wading birds.
Who should be vaccinated?
Travellers over three years of age at risk of acquiring the disease when visiting countries where the infection occurs.
What is the vaccine?
The vaccine is a series of two injections given on days 0 and 28.
What are the risks and side-effects of the vaccine?
The vaccine may cause arm soreness and local redness at the injection site. The vaccine may cause headache, rash, or swelling for up to 17 days after the injection. Allergic reactions may (rarely) occur. You should not receive this vaccine if you have allergies to bees/wasps or if you have a history of hives or swelling caused by drugs, insect bites or for any other reason. You should not receive this vaccine if you are allergic to THIMEROSAL (a mercury-containing preservative used in some vaccines).
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