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Japanese Encephalitis – Signs and Symptoms

Japanese encephalitis

was earlier distinguished as Japanese B encephalitis to easily differentiate it from another disease, von Economo’s A encephalitis. Japanese encephalitis is primarily caused by the mosquito-borne JE virus. The virus belongs to the family of Flaviviridae. Wild birds and domestic pigs are the reservoirs of this virus. If the virus is transmitted to the humans, it may lead to severe symptoms. The mosquito, Culex tritaeniorhynchus is the most important vector of this disease. This disease is widely spread in the Far East and Southeast Asia. Read on to know more about the

signs and symptoms of Japanese encephalitis

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Signs and Symptoms of Japanese Encephalitis

The virus has an incubation period of 5-15 days. Most of the infections are asymptomatic in nature – inly 1 in 250 cases finally develop into encephalitis. In humans, the disease onset is marked by severe rigors. Other non-specific symptoms are malaise, headache and fever which may last for 1-6 days. In acute encephalitic case, the signs which develop include fever around 38-41 degrees Celsius, convulsions (fits) , hemiparesis (weakness on one side of the body), cachexia (fatigue and loss of weight) and neck rigidity. If mental retardation develops in this disease, it may lead to coma.

Mortality due to this disease is usually higher in small children although it varies in general. Transplacental spread is observed in many cases. In patients whose central nervous system has been affected by this disease may have permanent neurological defects like hemiparesis, emotional liability and deafness. In few cases, vomiting, fever, headache and nausea has been reported. Also, swelling of the testicles is seen.

It is very important to seek immediate medical help as soon as the signs and symptoms are exhibited by a person affected by Japanese encephalitis. Vaccines are another way to prevent the occurrence of this disease. Medications like albendazole are administered to treat the disease.

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