Is there a Japanese Encephalitis Outbreak in Assam? Symptoms & Prevention?


Lately, in India, we are seeing an outbreak of mosquitoes. These mosquitoes are carriers of a lot of diseases like Malaria, Dengue, and Chikungunya etc. Japanese encephalitis is one such disease which is creating havoc in Assam and the North Eastern region of India. As per media reports, Ouguri, which is part of the Bhogamukh administrative block, in Assam was the worst affected area as far as Japanese encephalitis is concerned. Close to 13 cases were reported in that area in the year July-Aug 2017. Today, we have a closer look at the Symptoms & Prevention of the deadly virus since ‘Prevention is always better than Cure’.

Japanese Encephalitis – Overview

Culex types of mosquitoes are the carriers for the Japanese encephalitis virus. The reservoir for this virus is wild birds and swine. This virus causes infection to the brain and the nervous system which leads to a wide spectrum of effects ranging from small changes in behavior, blindness, convulsions, and death. Diagnosis of Japanese Encephalitis virus is done using tests that detect JE specific IgM antibodies or cerebrospinal fluid.


Japanese Encephalitis – Symptoms

Japanese Encephalitis symptoms show themselves after 8-15 days after the virus enters the body. Japanese Encephalitis is a condition of the swelling of the brain, along with high fever, vomiting, and headaches. In severe cases, it may lead to disorientation, seizures, and paralysis. If not diagnosed timely or if left untreated, it can lead to permanent nerve damage or death.

If a person is affected by the virus it is very important that he is treated for the symptoms. Medicine to reduce the fever is to be administered immediately. The patient has to be given a lot of fluids. If neurological symptoms are observed the patient has to be admitted to the hospital and his condition has to be monitored.

These are some of the encephalitis symptoms and it is important that you are aware of the symptoms & prevention if you are visiting areas where there is an outbreak of that virus.

Japanese Encephalitis – Prevention

Japanese Encephalitis can be prevented by administering a commercially available vaccine for it. The vaccine can be given to anybody. Recently the Japanese encephalitis virus is spreading rapidly in Ouguri, of Assam’s Jorhat district. Over 160 people have died in the state due to this virus and more than 700 people are affected by it.

There is a vaccine that is commercially available and it should be taken by people who plan to spend more than 30 days in the affected areas or in outdoors/rural areas. There are two doses and each dose is given 28 days apart. For pregnant women, it is advisable that they consult the doctor before taking the vaccine.

Apart from vaccines, there are preventive measures that can be used to keep any kind of mosquitoes (including the ones that cause Japanese encephalitis) at bay. Mosquitoes that cause Japanese encephalitis like breeding in open drains, polluted water, etc. though the same is true for all of them. Whenever you are outdoors, it is recommended to apply Goodknight Fabric Roll-On or use Goodknight Patches for kids so all of you are protected against the attack of mosquitoes. How do you protect yourself when you are at home/indoors? The answer is simple – Use Goodknight Activ+ or Fast Card from Goodknight in order to stay protected during the day, as well as night.

To summarize, Assam encountered one of the worst outbreaks of Japanese encephalitis but they could fight the outbreak with their grit & courage. We hope that these simple, yet effective prevention tips can help you to keep yourself & your loved ones safe from the ‘deadly mosquitoes’.