Indian cases of Japanese encephalitis: symptoms, aetiology, and treatment; is immunisation helpful?

Japanese encephalitis virus was recently discovered in a 4-year-old from Pune (JEV). Mosquitoes carry the illness, which in rare instances may result in long-term neurologic or behavioural problems.
The rehabilitation phase is currently underway for a 4-year-old kid from Wadgaonsheri, Pune, who was diagnosed with Japanese Encephalitis (JE). In the first week of November, the youngster was admitted to Sassoon Hospital with symptoms including fever, seizures, and altered sensorium. He was put on a ventilator for nine days. According to reports, he received therapy for 18 days before being transferred to a ward. He is still in the recovery stage. The Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), which is carried by mosquitoes, is a flavivirus related to dengue, yellow fever, and West Nile viruses, according to the WHO (World Health Organization). The case-fatality rate for those who have encephalitis might be as high as 30%, notwithstanding the rarity of symptomatic Japanese encephalitis (JE). 30% to 50% of those with encephalitis may experience long-term neurologic or psychological consequences.

What Japanese Encephalitis is and why it’s a problem
“There is anxiety about Japanese encephalitis across the nation. Although Japanese encephalitis is a viral infection like any other, it has an extremely high mortality rate. Once more, a mosquito bite is the cause of Japanese Encephalitis. Therefore, avoiding mosquito bites is still the best course of action to prevent dengue. The symptoms are typically fairly minor, but in rare occasions they might have a serious impact on the brain. It results in symptoms that resemble a fever, and the person may also experience behavioural problems, psychological problems, seizures, comas, and paralytic episodes. When a person has Japanese Encephalitis, also known as brain fever, the death rate can reach 30%, and of those who survive, 30% to 50% are left with lifelong brain or psychiatric abnormalities, “In a telephone interview with HT Digital, Dr. Ravindra Gupta, Department of Internal Medicine at the CK Birla Hospital(R), Gurugram, says.

Is Japanese encephalitis treatable?

“Unfortunately, there is no known antibiotic, antiviral medication, or specific remedy for the condition. The only goal of treatment is to alleviate symptoms, and patient recovery is dependent on this “Dr. Gupta explains.

Japanese encephalitis vaccine

By receiving two doses of the JE vaccine, Japanese Encephalitis can be avoided. It is advised to administer this in regions where Japanese Encephalitis is widespread and endemic.
“It is advised to space out the two vaccination doses by 28 days. If one needs a quick immunisation, it can be administered to both young and old patients even seven days after the initial dosage. To avoid major cases of Japanese Encephalitis, vaccination is usually recommended since it helps to prevent serious sequelae. Prevention is still the cornerstone. To avoid mosquito bites, use mosquito nets, insect repellents, clothing that covers the entire arm, and socks “Dr. Gupta recommends.

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ZZED Reporter

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