Immunisation is the most effective way to prevent JE (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The General Department of Preventive Medicine under the Health Ministry has warned the community to take active measures against Japanese encephalitis (JE) which reaches its peak season in June and July.

According to the World Health Organisation, JE is a fatal disease spreading through mosquito bites. Its symptoms include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, seizures, spastic paralysis and ultimately death. The first JE case was documented in 1871 in Japan.

JE virus is the main cause of viral encephalitis in many Asian countries with an estimate 68,000 clinical cases recorded every year. As many as 24 countries in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific region have endemic JE virus transmission, exposing more than 3 billion people to risks of infection.

In Vietnam , JE has been reported in many localities, mostly in the northern lowland and midland regions. As many as 20 percent of encephalitis cases in Vietnam are JE related. But the number of JE deaths have been remarkably reduced since the vaccine against the disease was put in the national expanded immunisation programme in 1997.

The department has advised parents to get their children aged above one vaccinated against the disease, while using mosquito nets while sleeping.

It is necessary to build livestock cages far away from houses, while eliminating mosquito larva nests and maintaining good environmental sanitation, it said.

The department also warned people who show JE symptoms such as high fever to immediately go to healthcare stations for diagnosis and treatment.-VNA