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Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine


Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine

Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a severe disease that is caused by a virus and spread through infected mosquito bites. JE is the most common vaccine-preventable cause of viral encephalitis in Asia. Incidences of infection rarely occur in the United States, but travelers to certain areas of Asia and the western Pacific should take measures to prevent mosquito bites and receive the JE vaccine.

Most people who are infected by JE virus show little or no symptoms at all, but some individuals can develop severe symptoms including fever, headache, and fatigue which can lead to inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) and death. Symptoms of encephalitis include stiffness in the neck, disorientation, tremors, and seizure.

JE virus is not found in the United States, but it does exist in certain areas of Asia and the western Pacific, especial rural and agricultural areas, but may occasionally occur in urban areas as well. In 2010 there were two cases of JE in the United States, one case in Nevada and one case in Texas. Both cases involved children who had recently traveled to areas with JE virus and were exposed to mosquitoes. Between 1973 and 2011 there were 58 cases of JE infection among travelers to nonendemic areas. Between the times when the vaccine was made available in 1992 until 2011, only seven cases of JE infection had been reported.

JE vaccine is recommended for travelers who are two months of age and older and who meet the following criteria:

  • Are traveling to certain parts of Asia and/or the western Pacific.
  • Are planning to spend at least one month in an area where JE occurs or plan to visit those areas for less than a month but will visit rural and agricultural areas.
  • Individuals who are traveling to an area with an active outbreak of JE.
  • Individuals who are not sure of their travel plans or destination.
  • Health care workers or laboratory workers who work with or may be exposed to JE virus.

Recommended Vaccines

The Vaccine Center and Travel Medicine Clinic has ALL the recommended and/or required vaccines needed for your travel.

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis A/B (Twinrix)
  • Influenza
  • Japanese Encephalitis
  • Meningococcal
  • Meningococcal (MenB)
  • MMR
  • Pneumococcal
  • Polio
  • Rabies
  • TD/Tdap (Tetanus)
  • Typhoid IM
  • Typhoid Pills
  • Varicella
  • Yellow Fever
  • Zostavax
  • Gardasil (HPV)

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