17 October 2016 Current Affairs: The Japanese Encephalitis has claimed 54 lives in Odisha’s backward Malkangiri district in just a more than a month. The State Government is monitoring and overseeing the measures to check the spread of Japanese Encephalitis.
Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus. It belongs to the same genus as dengue, yellow fever and West Nile viruses. The first case of JE was documented in 1871 in Japan.
JE primarily affects children. Most adults in endemic countries have natural immunity after childhood infection, but individuals of any age may be affected.
It is transmitted by rice field breeding mosquitoes (primarily Culex tritaeniorhynchus group). The mosquitoes transmit JE by feeding on domestic pigs and wild birds infected with the Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV). It is not transmitted from person-to-person.
Major JE outbreaks occur every 2-15 years. JE transmission mainly intensifies during the rainy season, during which vector populations increase.
Most JE infections are mild (fever and headache) or without apparent symptoms, but it may result in severe clinical illness. Severe infection is marked by quick onset, headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, stupor, occasional convulsions (especially in infants) etc.
There is no specific therapy. Intensive supportive therapy is indicated.