The Japanese Encephalitis has claimed 54 lives in Odisha’s backward Malkangiri district in just a more than a month.
The State Government is monitoring and overseeing the measures to check the spread of Japanese Encephalitis.
What is Japanese Encephalitis?
- Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus. It belongs to the same genus as dengue, yellow fever and West Nile viruses.
- The first case of JE was documented in 1871 in Japan.
- Target: JE primarily affects children. Most adults in endemic countries have natural immunity after childhood infection, but individuals of any age may be affected.
- Transmission: It is transmitted by rice field breeding mosquitoes (primarily Culex tritaeniorhynchus group).
- The mosquitoes transmit JE by feeding on domestic pigs and wild birds infected with the Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV). It is not transmitted from person-to-person.
- Disease outbreaks: Major JE outbreaks occur every 2-15 years. JE transmission mainly intensifies during the rainy season, during which vector populations increase.
- Signs and symptoms: Most JE infections are mild (fever and headache) or without apparent symptoms, but it may result in severe clinical illness.
- Severe infection is marked by quick onset, headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, stupor, occasional convulsions (especially in infants) etc.
- Treatment: There is no specific therapy. Intensive supportive therapy is indicated.