What is Japanese Encephalitis?
Japanese Encephalitis is a viral illness that infects the brain, leading to brain damage and sometimes death. The illness begins with fever, chills, malaise, headache, nausea and vomiting. Central nervous system infections develop consisting of stiff neck, delirium, paralysis, possibly tremors and convulsions. It is transmitted by mosquitoes in various areas of Asia: From India east to Korea, Japan and Indonesia.
What is Rabies?
Rabies is a rare infection of the brain that follows a bite, scratch, or less commonly, a lick from an infected animal. It is more common in many developing countries than in the U.S. Rabies is most often fatal if not treated, but can be prevented by prompt immunization after exposure.
Preparations for Travel to Risk Areas & Recommended Immunizations:
Everyone over the age of one year traveling to Asia during the Japanese encephalitis transmission season should consider vaccination if they plan on spending three weeks or more in rural areas. You may need vaccination even when traveling for a shorter period, if your plans include plenty of time outdoors in rural areas.
Vaccination is normally given after contact with a suspect animal. However, people whose travel or work abroad may involve more frequent animal contact such as veterinarians, agricultural specialists and especially hikers in rabies risk areas would benefit from a rabies pre-exposure vaccine series before departure.