How does Japanese encephalitis affect the body?

Japanese encephalitis

Pathogen: Japan Encephalitis Virus

Distribution:especially in rural areas in the Middle and Far East (India, China, Vietnam, Burma, Laos, Cambodia etc.). The disease is extremely rare among tourists.

Transmission: Mosquitoes.

Incubation period: six to 16 days.

Complaints: In the majority of cases, those infected show no or only mild symptoms. If the meninges and brain become inflamed (meningoencephalitis), the disease can be fatal or cause severe neurological complications. The disease is comparable to early summer meningoencephalitis (TBE), but the course is usually much more unpleasant.

  • Mild course:The illness can be similar to a flu-like infection, a diarrheal illness or an infection of the respiratory tract.
  • Dramatic course: After two to three days of flu-like symptoms, there is increasing neck stiffness, photophobia, vomiting, impaired consciousness up to unconsciousness, cramps, paralysis. The disease is fatal in up to 25 percent of cases. If the disease is survived, a high percentage (up to 50 to 85 percent) can expect severe neurological deficits as a consequence.

Diagnosis: is first performed clinically by means of a lumbar puncture ("cross stitch"), serological methods (PCR, ELISA, HHT) are used to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment:no specific treatment possible. Only supportive and intensive medical measures are used.

Prevention:Insect repellent, vaccination.