IT takes only 5 to 15 days after an infected mosquito bite to develop a Japanese Encephalitis (JE) symptoms that cause inflammation of the brain.
Japanese encephalitis is a potentially severe disease caused by a virus spread by infected mosquitoes in Asia and the western Pacific, mostly rural and agricultural areas often associated with farming. In tropical countries like the Philippines, transmission can occur year-round, often with a peak during the rainy season.
Most people who are infected develop mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. In people who develop severe disease, initial symptoms include fever, chills, headache, fatigue, nausea and vomiting. The disease can progress to inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) and is often accompanied by seizures. Coma and paralysis occur in some cases.
As of today, there were a total of 9 deaths reported in the country due to the mosquito-borne JE. The Department of Health (DOH) said the nine deaths reported from January 1 to August 26, were reported in Central Luzon, including four in Pampanga, two in Zambales, and one in Nueva Ecija. The other two deaths were recorded in Pangasinan and Laguna. Of the 133 JE cases recorded this year, 53 are in Central Luzon.
Right now, there is no specific treatment for JE. Incase of severe illnesses JE are treated by supportive therapy which may include hospitalization, respiratory support, and intravenous fluids.
How to prevent it?
* Use insect repellent and wear long pants and sleeves
* Sleep in air-conditioned or well-screened rooms or use bed nets
* A vaccine against JE virus is available, and its cost ranges from P3,500 to P5,000 each. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether this vaccine is right for you.
Sources: wwwnc.cdc.gov, http://www.news.abs-cbn.com