How is Japanese encephalitis transmitted?

Japanese encephalitis is an acute infectious disease caused by a virus, affecting the central nervous system (brain) of humans.

1. Is Japanese encephalitis contagious?

Japanese encephalitis is a dangerous infectious disease transmitted by mosquito bites. The main source of disease is wild birds and domestic animals. Birds and pigs are reservoirs of Japanese encephalitis virus in the wild. Mosquitoes will bite pigs and wild birds, carry blood containing the virus that causes disease and then transmit it to humans.
Different from the mosquito that causes dengue fever that often lives around the house, the mosquito that causes Japanese encephalitis is mainly 2 species: Culex Tritaeniorhynchus and Culex vishnui, brown in color, active at dusk. dark and often live in wet rice fields, ponds and lakes, in fields. Mosquitoes that cause Japanese encephalitis can fly within a radius of up to 3km.
Mosquito bite is the only way to transmit Japanese encephalitis. There have been no recorded cases of Japanese encephalitis being transmitted from person to person. Eating together, sharing utensils, and close contact with sick people do not spread Japanese encephalitis. With virus infected pigs, they are completely free from encephalitis, pigs only play the role of a repository and maintain the viral load in nature.
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Muỗi đốt truyền nhiễm bệnh viêm não Nhật Bản

2. Why is Japanese encephalitis a dangerous infectious disease?

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Japanese encephalitis is said to be a dangerous infectious disease because the infected person is attacked by the virus and suffers from damage to the central nervous system, severe cases can be life-threatening, leading to death. Usually, if Japanese encephalitis patients recover, they may experience neurological and psychiatric sequelae (accounting for 50%): Motor paralysis, mental retardation (cerebral palsy), aphasia, decreased severe memory loss, mental confusion or coma, hearing loss or deafness...
It is worth mentioning that Japanese encephalitis is often difficult to detect early because early symptoms often resemble encephalitis or meningitis other brain, mainly from high fever. The clinical symptoms of the disease are difficult to distinguish between the virus strains, so the diagnosis needs to wait for the test results to confirm the virus. A few days later, new symptoms of the disease became more obvious such as: sudden high fever, severe headache, nausea or vomiting, joint pain, stiff neck, unsteadiness, lethargy, confusion, coma , talking nonsense, paralysis... The disease progresses very quickly, can lead to convulsions, coma after only 3 days of illness.

3. Prevention of Japanese encephalitis

Deputy Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases Prevention - Hanoi Center for Disease Control said that to prevent Japanese encephalitis, the optimal specific measure is to vaccinate children against Japanese encephalitis with 3 doses. basic: 1st injection at 1 year old, 2nd dose 1 to 2 weeks after first dose; The 3rd dose is given about 1 year after the 2nd dose. Then, every 3 years, booster shots should be given until the child is 15 years old. Currently, there is a new generation Japanese encephalitis vaccine, which can be given to children when they are 9 months old or older, the number of injections is also reduced, just 1-2 injections.
Besides, people also need to take other measures to prevent and control the disease such as: preventing mosquito bites by sleeping under nets even during the day in places with many mosquitoes, using drugs or chemicals to kill mosquitoes, do not allow children to play where there are stables; In livestock areas, barns should be placed far away from home, clearing the surrounding bushes, clearing sewers to limit mosquitoes from multiplying and developing. In particular, when children show signs of sudden high fever, they need to be taken to a medical facility for early diagnosis and treatment if Japanese encephalitis occurs.

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