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Japanese Encephalitis Vaccination
What is Japanese encephalitis and how do you catch it?
Spread through mosquito bites, Japanese encephalitis is a rare but serious viral brain infection. The virus starts with a mosquito biting an infected pig or bird, then going on to bite a human, transmitting the disease. The infection can’t be passed from person to person.
The virus is most common in South East Asia, the Pacific Islands and the Far East. The risk for most travellers is low, especially for short stay travellers. Those at higher risk are travellers to rural areas and those staying near to rice fields or pig farms for one month or longer.
PRICE: £90 Per Dose
Signs and symptoms
Japanese encephalitis doesn’t always present symptoms, but if they do occur they’re usually mild and flu-like.
One in every 250 people develop more severe symptoms. This usually takes place five to 15 days after infection when it spreads to the brain. Severe Japanese encephalitis symptoms can include:
• High temperature (fever)
• Stiff neck
• Inability to speak
• Uncontrollable shaking of body parts
• Muscle weakness or paralysis
As these can be signs of many different diseases, you should seek immediate medical attention if you become unwell with flu-like symptoms and any of the symptoms listed whilst away or on your return.
The virus has no cure, however, treatment can be given to aid the body as it fights off the infection. Symptoms usually require hospital treatments such as fluids, oxygen and medication.
The most effective way to prevent Japanese encephalitis is by means of vaccination.
It’s also important to protect against being bitten by mosquitos. To help prevent bites, you should:
• Use mosquito nets
• Wear long sleeves and trousers that are loose-fitting
• Spray rooms with insecticide
• Wear insect repellent
The vaccination, given as an injection, is administered in two doses for protection. The second dose can either be given 28 days after the first, or, when time is short, seven days after the first (an ‘accelerated’ schedule). The two doses should be completed at least seven days before your departure.
If you’re at higher risk of the disease, you should consider being vaccinated. It’s particularly important if:
• You’re travelling to a high-risk country during rainy season
• You’re visiting rural areas such as rice fields, marshlands or animal farms
• You’re likely to be doing activities that could increase your risk, such as cycling or camping
How long does the Japanese encephalitis vaccination last?
If you’re at prolonged risk of infection, you should have a booster injection 12 to 24 months after the initial vaccination.
“I have had persistent neck and shoulder discomfort for some time. Regular visits to my local GP did not help. I was recommended to see Dr Sheila O’Neil who gave me a check-up and recommended that I see her physiotherapist colleague, Vicky Graham. I have had three sessions of physiotherapy and have regained full mobility in my neck and shoulders and feel a great deal better. I am very grateful to Dr Sheila and expect, with my husband, to sign up with her as regular patients.”Mrs Johnston
I would like to thank Dr O’Neill very much for her time today: I get the impression that she is a very caring professional, knowledgeable and reassuring, and that she makes explaining conditions crystal clear, which is exactly what is needed for an anxious patient like myself. The staff that I met were all extremely welcoming, well-groomed and helpful too. Add to this the very relaxing and beautifully scented ambience and it was really a truly positive and pleasant visit. Thank you.Linnea Blair
“Dr. Sheila O’Neill and her team quite literally saved my life. I cannot recommend them highly enough. Diagnosis of a serious condition that had been misdiagnosed by three hospitals took less than 2 weeks, including an MRI. Setting aside the professionalism, they are also just extremely nice people. Imagine a GP that truly cares and will be calling the patient after hours to see how they are getting on – that is what I got from Dr. Sheila O’Neill. There are no superlatives that adequately describe the service. Great. Fantastic. Superb.”GMK Group