Japanese Encephalitis 5 Facts For Parents. I have been reading about Japanese Encephalitis, specially the shortage of the Japanese Encaphalitis vaccine. I must admit, prior to my kids’ vaccination, I have no knowledge of JE. We were lucky that during our pedia visit, our pedia has Japanese Encephalitis vaccines. The cost of Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine from our pedia is 2500 Pesos.
Three of our kids got the vaccines while the other 2 must wait until their fever is gone. The pedia advised a week rest before the vaccine.
I am sharing with you some facts I have learned during our pedia visit and some of my readings about the deadly Japanese Encephalitis and how you can prevent your child from getting it.
Japanese Encephalitis 5 Facts For Parents
1. What is Japanese Encephalitis?
Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain and most common is viral infection. Japanese Encephalitis is a type of brain inflammation caused by the Japanese Encephalitis virus which is carried by mosquitoes.
The JE virus is found in pigs and birds. The virus is passed on to mosquitoes if they bite an infected animal.
Why is Japanese Encephalitis called Japanese Encephalitis? The first case of this kind of encephalitis was documented in Japan (1871).
2. Who are at risk of Japanese Encephalitis?
Everyone is at risk of Japanese Encephalitis but cases on kids below 15 years old are more frequent.
People who are living in rural areas or near a piggery or near rice fields are more prone to JE since these are the areas where the mosquitoes will most likely get the virus.
3. Is Japanese Encephalitis contagious? Nakakahawa ba ang Japanese Encephalitis?
Japanese Encephalitis can’t be spread from person to person.
4. How to prevent Japanese Encephalitis?
Since the spread of JE virus is through mosquitoes, one of the best ways to prevent it is to prevent mosquito bites by doing the following:
- Use mosquito repellant, specially for kids.
- Clean your surroundings and discard any stagnant water since this is where mosquitoes breed.
- Wear long clothes, specially pajamas and light colored ones!
- Take a bath daily, specially when you are sweaty. Mosquitoes loves our sweat!
- Avoid drinking beer, or if you must, wear insect repellant. There’s a study about how Alcohol ingestion stimulates mosquito attraction.
Japanese Encephalitis vaccine
The most effective to prevent JE is through vaccination. Japanese Encephalitis vaccine is available to prevent JE. The Philippine government is now working to include JE vaccine on the list of mandated vaccines for kids.
Currently out of stock in most clinics but heard that new stocks of Japanese Encephalitis vaccine will be out on 2nd week of September.
How much is Japanese Encephalitis vaccine? The price ranges from 2500-4000 (depends on the pedia).
The vaccine comes in 2 doses, administered with a year in between. Price is per dose.
5. Who should have the Japanese Encephalitis vaccine?
Japanese Encephalitis virus can affect all people. Everyone should get a vaccine but give priority to your kids.
How serious is Japanese Encephalitis? Why is there a panic on Japanese Encephalitis? And why is Japanese Encephalitis vaccine always out of stock?
How serious is Japanese Encephalitis? 1 in every 250 who got infected with JE virus develop into more serious infection. And 1 in every 3 people who got more serious infection will die, 1 may fully recover but will take time and 1 is left with permanent brain damage. (source)
Why is there a panic on Japanese Encephalitis? Because there are already 9 cases of death due to JE virus. Read more about the report here> DOH: 9 die of Japanese encephalitis
Why is Japanese Encephalitis vaccine always out of stock? Currently, JE virus is not included in the mandated list of vaccines, so production of the said vaccine is limited. Hopefully, the government will act fast and there will be more stocks available not just for private patients but for health centers as well.