By Frank Hubbell, DO
Japanese Encephalitis (JE) is more correctly known as Japanese B Encephalitis.
It is a virus in the family Flaviviridae.
The reservoirs in nature that harbor the JE virus are pigs and herons.
The vector for JE is the mosquito – Culex tritaeniorhynchus & C. vishnui.
JE is not contagious, in that it cannot be transferred from human-to-human. It has to be spread by the Culex mosquito vector.
The incubation period from mosquito bite to symptoms is 5 – 15 days.
The vast majority of those infected are asymptomatic.
Only 1 in 250 cases develops into encephalitis.
Still JE is the leading cause of encephalitis in Asia with 30,000 – 50,000 cases per year.
One in four patients that develop JE encephalitis will die. There is a 25% fatality rate caused by brain damage.