Table of Contents

What is Japanese Encephalitis?

This viral disease is spread from the bite of an infected mosquito and can cause swelling of the brain (encephalitis).  Other symptoms can include headache, fever, and serious neurological problems like seizures.  According to the CDC, 1 in 4 infections result in death.  Because of the serious risk of long-term illness and death, consider protecting yourself with the Japanese Encephalitis (JE) vaccine.

How is the Virus Spread?

Mosquitos carry the disease and spread the infection to people.  Other animals like birds and pigs can become infected resulting in a cycle of transmission that can be hard to interrupt. There are many types of mosquito diseases, and Japanese Encephalitis is different from malaria and dengue fever. 

Japanese Encephalitis is transmitted from a mosquito bite to humans. The Japanese Encephalitis vaccine can protect against infection.
Travel to rural and urban areas of Asia can put you at risk for Japanese Encephalitis disease. A vaccine is available to prevent this dangerous mosquito illness

Where Japanese Encephalitis Found?

Unlike the name implies, this mosquito disease occurs throughout Asia including India and the Western Pacific.  More than 25 countries are known to have risk for Japanese Encephalitis virus.  Risk varies depending on the country and time of year.  In some countries the disease risk is highest during specific months and in other countries JE spreads year-round.

Because the disease happens more often in rural areas, it’s important to know your travel plans and seek vaccination if you will be at risk. Additionally, staying longer than 30 days and frequent return trips to Asia mean there is a greater risk for mosquito bites.  Travelers planning outdoor activities like hiking, camping, trekking, and photography are more likely to be infected.  Keep in mind, even if you are staying in mostly urban areas the JE vaccine may still be recommended and it’s best to speak with a travel health specialist before your trip. 

What Else Should I Know About the Vaccine?

Two doses of Japanese Encephalitis vaccine are given 28 days apart.  In some cases, travelers leaving in less than a month do have an option for a faster vaccine schedule.  Children two months and older and all adults can receive the Japanese Encephalitis vaccine safely.  Additionally, many countries in Asia administer the vaccine to children as part of their routine childhood vaccine recommendations. 

Where Can I Find a Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine Near Me?

Destination Health Travel Clinic specializes in travel immunizations and the clinic keeps the Japanese Encephalitis vaccine available. Book an appointment at any of our three Massachusetts locations; Braintree – South Shore , Springfield – Longmeadow or Natick – Framingham.  Fast online scheduling available or call the office with additional questions. 

Other Common Travel Vaccinations

Traveling to Asia and in need of other vaccinations?  Read about common vaccine preventable diseases including Hepatitis A vaccine, and Hepatitis B vaccine, Typhoid Fever vaccine, and Chikungunya vaccine.  Keep in mind, many destinations in Asia also carry the risk of malaria and medication is available to prevention illness.