NHS Service

Is Japanese encephalitis contagious?

Japanese encephalitis vaccination

Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a very serious viral brain infection. Unlike some other viruses, it can’t be spread from person to person or through droplets in the air. Instead, it’s spread through the bites of infected mosquitos.

The disease is found most often in southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands and the Far East. Cases have recently been recorded in Australia as well. There is no cure for JE so if you’re going to be in an area where you’re at risk, you should get the effective Japanese encephalitis vaccination. Otherwise, you may end up with severe and life-long complications.

You can book an appointment for the Japanese encephalitis vaccination in Camberley, Northolt and Northampton through Touchwood Pharmacy.

Japanese Encephalitis Causes and Symptoms

JE originates in birds and pigs and is spread to humans when a mosquito bites an infected animal then bites a human. In areas where the disease is endemic, men, women, and children in rural and populated areas are at risk of contracting JE.

The symptoms of Japanese Encephalitis are initially similar to the flu and may only be mild. Children who get JE tend to have gastrointestinal symptoms.

Many people will recover from these initial symptoms, but around 1 out of 250 people will go on to experience more severe symptoms if the infection spreads to the brain. These symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Neck stiffness
  • Seizures
  • Confusion
  • Impaired speech
  • Uncontrollable tremors
  • Paralysis
  • Confusion

Japanese Encephalitis Prevention

One third of people who experience more severe symptoms will not survive the disease. Many others will be left with permanent disability and ongoing health conditions. This is why it’s so important to take steps to prevent JE. This can be done through getting the vaccination and by taking steps to protect yourself against mosquito bites.

You should wear long clothing and hats, preferably ones with netting to cover your face. Apply mosquito repellent often, avoid standing water, and wear closed toed shoes. Mosquito nets over your bed can protect you while you are sleeping. Even if you get the vaccine, you should continue to take precautions against mosquito bites.

To find out more about getting the Japanese encephalitis vaccination in Bromley and Hanwell, visit our website or contact us. You can also book convenient appointments for Japanese encephalitis vaccination in Leighton Buzzard and Camberley through our appointment portal.