The Urwin Pharmacy Group

Japanese Encephalitis Travel Vaccine 

What is Japanese Encephalitis?

Japanese Encephalitis is a mosquito-borne flavivirus. The virus is found in pigs and birds, however it is spread to humans through mosquito bites. According to the World Health Organization at least 50,000 people in Asia develop visible symptoms of Japanese Encephalitis each year. Japanese Encephalitis was first recognised in Japan in the late 1800’s, but the first major epidemic was described in 1924. 

Most cases of Japanese Encephalitis are asymptomatic or mild without apparent symptoms. According to the World Health Organisation approximately 1 in 15 of infections result in severe clinical illness. The incubation period is 5-15 days and initial symptoms include fever, headache and nausea. 


Japanese Encephalitis Travel Vaccine

The risk of acquiring JE can be reduced by insect bite avoidance methods, particularly between the hours of dusk and dawn, when the Culex spp. mosquito vector is most active. Travellers are at increased risk of infection when visiting rural areas. Short trips (usually less than a month) especially if only travelling to urban areas, are considered lower risk.

There is currently one licensed vaccine recommended for use in the UK, IXIARO. This vaccine is licensed for immunisation against JE in adults and children for two months of age. It may be used as a booster for travellers who have received a course of GC or Biken vaccine previously. 

Japanese Encephalitis Prevention

 The Japanese Encephalitis vaccine is an effective way to prevent disease. To reduce risk of JE, travellers to Japanese Encephalitis-endemic areas should take extra precautions to avoid any mosquito bites. Personal preventative measures include the use of mosquito repellents, long sleeved clothing, coils and vaporisers. Travellers should also use a close-fitting gauze over windows and doors and if sleeping outside should use a mosquito net. 

What travel vaccinations do i need?

Speak to one of our expert Pharmacists at your local Urwin Pharmacy branch about current travel advice and recommendations.