Australia: First Japanese encephalitis case of season reported in Victoria


by NewsDesk Laugh

The Victorian Department of Health has reported the first case of Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus this mosquito season in a Campaspe LGA resident.


Recent weather conditions have been favorable for mosquito breeding and biting, and mosquito numbers are high in many parts of Victoria. There is an ongoing concern about transmission of Japanese encephalitis virus in inland riverine areas up to the Murray River.

The number of mosquito species known to spread disease is increasing. The risk of infection with Japanese encephalitis virus is expected to increase with higher summer temperatures and more stagnant floodwaters.

No Japanese encephalitis virus has been identified in mosquitoes or animals in Victoria this mosquito season. Ongoing mosquito testing is done to help identify high-risk areas.

Aedes aegypti goods

New South Wales and South Australia also recently reported their first case of the Japanese encephalitis virus.

Most cases of Japanese encephalitis virus infection are asymptomatic. A small percentage may develop a febrile illness, but less than one percent may develop a severe infection manifested by headache, vomiting, confusion, seizures, coma, and rarely permanent neurological complications or death.

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Taking measures to avoid mosquito bites is crucial to protecting against infection.

A Japanese encephalitis vaccine is available. The supply of Japanese encephalitis vaccine remains severely restricted in Australia. However, people included in the priority groups identified are advised to contact their GP, local public health unit, local council or community pharmacy to confirm eligibility and arrange a vaccination appointment. Additional vaccines are expected to arrive in the first part of 2023.

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