JAPANESE ENCEPHALITIS VIRUS

Have we ever wondered that small habits on your part for small things in life can go a long way in making our live far more easier. Carelessness is inbuilt in us and sometimes this attitude taxes. Take for instance, our being staying carefree for the mosquitoes which fly around in our homes, unless and until we hear in the news about some deaths or alarming number of increasing malaria or dengue patients, we hardly care to buy any mosquito repellent or Goodnight Activ+ System. The purpose of writing this blog is to raise your awareness about the seriousness of the issue. Do you know that dengue cases in India in 2016 were 1,29,166 which rose to 1,57,220 in 2017 (http://nvbdcp.gov.in/den-cd.html). If mosquitoes can keep up their reputation then can be not beat them by lowering their number, especially when our own number is increasing by significant multiplication every year. The name of the infliction by mosquito force keeps on changing, we just need to be more aware of it so that we can prevent it beforehand. One such infection is Japanese Encephalitis virus.

Early Symptoms of Japanese Encephalitis virus

The mosquito is sure a dangerous insect. One bite from the infected mosquito can land you in a hospital. Apart from causing Dengue, Malaria, Chikungunya and Zika Virus, the infected mosquito can also cause Japanese Encephalitis virus.

What is a Japanese Encephalitis virus?

Japanese Encephalitis (JE) is a flavivirus, spread by Culex mosquitoes and related to dengue and yellow fever. It is closely related to West Nile and St. Louis encephalitis viruses. The Japanese Encephalitis virus is on the rise mainly in the Asian countries. The JE virus primarily affects children.

JE is spread by the Culex mosquitoes, specifically those of the Culex tritaeniorhynchus. Pigs and wild birds serve as a reservoir for the virus. The disease mostly occurs in rural agricultural areas, often associated with rice production and flooding irrigation. In some regions of Asia, the condition can occur near urban centers.

The infection usually occurs in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific region. Japanese Encephalitis virus transmission intensifies during the rainy season, during which the vector populations increase.

Symptoms of Japanese Encephalitis Virus

To diagnose any disease, it is essential to know the symptoms. The symptoms of Japanese Encephalitis virus include-

  1. Less than 1 percent of patients infected with Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus develop clinical illness.
  2. Initial symptoms of JE virus often include fever, headache, and vomiting.
  3. Mental status changes, neurologic symptoms, weakness, and movement disorders might develop over the next few days.
  4. Seizures are common, especially among children.
  5. The JE virus is also characterized by neck stiffness, disorientation, spastic paralysis and ultimately death.

The Japanese encephalitis symptoms usually take 5-15 days to develop in any patient. Symptoms that occur later include swelling around the brain and coma. Japanese Encephalitis is a serious disease that may cause death. About 1 in every four patients die every year because of JE virus.

There is no cure for the disease. The treatment for JE is focused on relieving severe clinical signs and supporting the patient to overcome the infection. Safe and effective vaccines are available to prevent JE.

Prevention of the JE virus

Besides the vaccines, JE virus can be prevented by executing the following measures-

  1. Use insect repellent– When you go outdoors, use the Goodknight Fabric Roll-On or the Goodknight Patches (for infants) that can protect the body from mosquito for up to 8 hours. Even a short time outdoors can be long enough to get a mosquito bite.
  2. Wear proper clothing to reduce mosquito bites– Wear long-sleeve shirts, long pants and socks whenever outdoors. Mosquitoes may sometimes bite through thin clothing, so treating clothes with mosquito repellent might be a good idea.
  3. Reduce exposure to mosquitoes during peak biting hours– The mosquitoes that transmit JE virus feed mainly outside during the cooler hours from dusk to dawn. Travellers to high risk areas should consider minimizing outdoor activities at these times if possible.

Now you know the symptoms and how to prevent the JE virus, be better prepared to fight it out. Stay safe.

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Author: bedtimestories511

I am a tax consultant by profession.

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