Japanese encephalitis 

Infectious agent: Japanese encephalitis virus

Main symptom(s): Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)

Where is it most commonly found?

It’s common in rural parts of Asia, in Papua New Guinea and tropical North-East Australia.

How are you likely to catch the disease?

Through mosquito bites.

Who needs to be vaccinated?

If you’re travelling to an endemic area (a place where a particular disease is regularly found) for a month or longer, especially if you’re planning to go to rural areas, if you’re going during the wet season, or if you’re expecting to spend considerable time outdoors.

How is the vaccination given?

You’ll need three injections – the first at least a month before travel, the second a week after the first, and the third at one month.

How long will the vaccination protect you for?

Boosters are required every three years.

Other protective measures you can take

Because Japanese encephalitis is spread by mosquitoes, it’s also important to take measures to avoid being bitten by them. This may include wearing light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing that covers your arms and legs, regularly applying an appropriate insect repellent and staying in mosquito-proof accommodation.