NHS Service

Japanese Encephalitis: Prevention, Diagnosis and Management in Children

Japanese Encephalitis: Prevention, Diagnosis and Management in Children

Japanese Encephalitis is a viral brain infection caused by mosquito bites. The virus actually originates in pigs and birds and is spread to people when a mosquito bites an infected animal. Both adults and children can contract Japanese encephalitis. If you are traveling abroad to areas where JE is common, then find out about the prevention of Japanese encephalitis and also the diagnosis of Japanese encephalitis and its symptoms from Touchwood Pharmacy.

The Prevention, Diagnosis, and Management of Japanese Encephalitis in Children

The prevention of JE in children is much the same as it is for adults, cover-up against insects and preventing mosquito bites. There is also a vaccination to help protect you.

What are the symptoms of Japanese Encephalitis?

Most people who contract JE have no symptoms at all or only very mild ones which can be mistaken for a flu-like illness. However, around 1 in every 250 people who develop JE will experience more severe symptoms and these include: –

  • Fever
  • Seizures or fits
  • A stiff neck
  • Confusion
  • Impaired speech
  • Uncontrollable shaking or tremors
  • Muscle weakness or paralysis

In children, the dominant symptoms of Japanese Encephalitis are gastrointestinal pain and vomiting. There is no cure for JE so treatment involves supporting the body and managing the symptoms. This commonly means hospitalization.

Up to 1 in every 3 people who develop these more serious symptoms will die as a result. Survivors will experience slow improvement and recovery, but it can take many months and around half of people will be left with permanent brain damage.

To avoid Japanese Encephalitis infection in children, vaccination is an essential plus, you should also avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellents, wearing loose clothing and staying covered up outside, and using insect screens and meshes indoors.

Children must be at least two months old to have the vaccine and it is the same vaccine like the one which is used for adults. The vaccine consists of two injections given 28 days apart.

Find out about Japanese Encephalitis prevention at Touchwood Pharmacy where we also offer the JE vaccination. If you are traveling to parts of the world where JE is endemic, then it is important to understand all about the symptoms of Japanese Encephalitis and Japanese Encephalitis diagnosis. Touchwood Pharmacy can also help with advice on how to avoid mosquito bites.