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Japanese encephalitis in Australia

Health authorities in Australia are on high alert after Japanese encephalitis was detected in the country’s eastern and southern states.

People can take precautions such as wearing mosquito repellent, wearing long sleeves and trousers to avoid being bitten and ensuring their homes and communities are free from stagnant water where mosquitoes gather and lay their eggs.

Safe and effective vaccines are available to prevent JE. The WHO recommends that JE vaccination be integrated into national immunization schedules in all areas where JE disease is recognized as a public health issue.

Those who might be at increased risk of exposure should seek advice about vaccination.

In addition, all travellers to areas where JE is endemic should seek travel health advice including the need for vaccination.

More information on prevention and guidelines for travellers is provided on our website

Global Impact Report

Encephalitis International highlighted issues around Japanese encephalitis in its recently published Global Impact Report.

Encephalitis: an in-depth review and gap analysis of key variables affecting global disease burden is a 160-page document which identifies a range of difficulties and solutions to the global impact of encephalitis.

The report (pages 44 to 49) finds that there is a need to improve access to health facilities, vaccine availability, financial resources and education to enable access to Japanese encephalitis vaccines in at-risk countries.

Surveillance systems (pages 93 to 103) also need to be implemented in all areas where Japanese encephalitis is a public health priority. Moreover, the report finds that there needs to be complete case reporting, correct classification of cases, presence of immunisation program monitoring data, and adequate monitoring of vaccination coverage following vaccine introduction.

These topics and more from the Global Impact Report will be the subject of talks involving global partners and stakeholders, including the World Health Organization, in the future.

Useful links

Australian Government: Department of Health

State health departments

New South Wales

Queensland

South Australia

Tasmania

Victoria

Western Australia


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Page Created: 23 November 2023
Last Modified: 12 December 2023
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