Japanese Encephalitis

Japanese Encephalitis

News: At least 85 people have died of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) in Assam in the last two months.

• Japanese encephalitis (JE) is one of the most common encephalitis
• The disease is caused by a mosquito-borne flavivirus and is found across south and east areas of Asia.
• It is a zoonosis – an animal disease that can spread to humans.
• JE virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected Culex mosquitoes, which lay their eggs in irrigated rice paddies and other pools of stagnant water.
• Pigs and birds serve as amplifying vertebrate hosts.
• Humans are believed to be dead-end hosts. The disease outbreak usually occurs during the rainy season.
• Case-fatality rate in severe clinical cases is estimated to be 20–30%, with young children (< 10 years) having a greater risk of severe disease and death.

Vaccines available?
• Currently, three WHO-prequalified JE vaccines are available, all of which are safe and effective. WHO recommends use of JE
vaccines in all countries where JE is recognized as a public health priority.
• India has also launched its first indigenously produced anti- Japanese encephalitis (JE) vaccine—JENVAC.

Government initiatives to fight JE:
• The National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) is a comprehensive programme for prevention and control of vector borne diseases namely Malaria, Filaria, Kala- azar, Japanese Encephalitis (JE), Dengue and Chikungunya which is covered under the overall umbrella of NRHM.
• National Programme for Prevention and Control of Japanese Encephalitis (JE)/ Acute Encephalitis Syndrome - The goal of the programme is to reduce morbidity, mortality, and disability in children due to JE/AES.

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