What is it?
Japanese encephalitis is a type of viral brain infection that is spread through mosquito bites.
How is it spread?
The virus is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. This mosquito breeds in rice paddies and mainly bites between dusk and dawn. Risk is higher for long stay travellers to rural areas, particularly if unable to avoid mosquito bites.
It cannot be spread from person to person.
Advice for Travellers?
Prevention is focused on avoiding mosquito bites, especially during the hours between dusk and dawn which is when this mosquito is most active. Use of insect repellents, appropriate clothing and mosquito nets is recommended for those at risk.
Individuals should consider being vaccinated if they are travelling to a country where Japanese encephalitis is present and where their stay may be prolonged or they are at increased risk of exposure to the disease e.g. staying in or around rice growing areas.