- Japanese encephalitis (JE) is one of the most common encephalitides worldwide. The disease is caused by a mosquito-borne flavivirus and is found across south and east areas of Asia. It is a zoonosis – an animal disease that can spread to humans.
- JE virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected Culex mosquitoes, which lay their eggs in irrigated rice paddies and other pools of stagnant water.
- Pigs and birds serve as amplifying vertebrate hosts. Humans are believed to be dead-end hosts. The disease outbreak usually occurs during the rainy season.
- Case-fatality rate in severe clinical cases is estimated to be 20–30%, with young children (< 10 years) having a greater risk of severe disease and death.
- Currently, three WHO-prequalified JE vaccines are available, all of which are safe and effective. WHO recommends use of JE vaccines in all countries where JE is recognized as a public health priority.
- India has also launched its first indigenously produced anti- Japanese encephalitis (JE) vaccine—JENVAC.
Relation between Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) and Japanese Encephalitis (JE)
- Flaviviridae is a family of viruses belonging to Flavivirus Genus. Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus is one of the member of Flaviviridae.
- Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus causes Japanese Encephalitis Disease and it is also the most common cause of Acute Encephalitis Syndrom in India.
National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme
- The National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) is a comprehensive programme for prevention and control of vector borne diseases namely Malaria, Filaria, Kala-azar, Japanese Encephalitis (JE), Dengue and Chikungunya which is covered under the overall umbrella of NRHM.