In view of the recent occurrence of Japanese encephalitis (JE) in our neighbouring state Assam, the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, Nagaland, issues the following information to public:
What is Japanese Encephalitis?
• Japanese Encephalitis (JE) is a viral disease transmitted by Culex mosquitoes
• JE is a disease which primarily affects central nervous system.
• JE affects all age groups and especially children under 15 years of age.
Signs and Symptoms
• Headache, fever, disorientation, coma, tremors, paralysis and loss of coordination
• It is associated with neurological complications leading to deaths
Transmission of JE
• JE is transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes.
• JE virus remains in the water birds like pond herons and cattle egrets in nature.
• Pigs play an important role in JE, as JE virus multiplies in pigs without suffering from disease and maintain the virus for a long time.
• Mosquitoes while biting pigs pick up the infection easily and pass on to the man when it bites again.
• JE is not transmitted from man to man like malaria and other vector borne diseases.
Is there a vaccine for JE
• Yes, vaccine is available for JE.
• Government provides this vaccine for children in JE affected areas.
How do we prevent JE?
• The best way to prevent JE is through control of mosquito vectors.
• Stagnant water bodies should be drained or filled up, and surroundings kept clean and dry.
• Rice fields can cover wide areas and chemical control may not be feasible. In such situations, water management measures like alternate wetting and drying may be applied to reduce vector population.
• During pre-monsoon when water bodies are confined to small ponds and tanks, vector control measures can be planned.
• Personal protection through use of repellents and mosquito nets are effective control measures.
• Introduce larvivorous fishes in the paddy fields and other stagnant bodies to eat up the mosquito larva.
• Larvivorous fishes are available at Urban Malaria Scheme at Chief Medical Officer office, Dimapur.
• It is discouraged to rear pigs near human dwellings as the virus gets multiplied and amplified in the pigs which can be transmitted to humans.
• Spread of awareness is important for prevention and also to detect and treat patients early to increase chance of survival and reduce long term deficits after recovery.
In case of any illness which resembles the symptoms of JE, visit your nearest health centre/district hospital for investigation and treatment of cases.
Dr. I Talitemsula Jamir
Joint Director & SPO
National Vector Borne Disease Control Program (NVBDCP)
Directorate of Health and Family Welfare