Australia declares Japanese Encephalitis Virus outbreak

The developing Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) epidemic in Queensland was recently named a Communicable Disease Incident of National Significance by Australia’s government.

Queensland officials confirmed on March 3, 2022, that a human case of JEV was being treated in a Brisbane hospital.

In addition, the Department of Health is aware of other cases of encephalitis of unknown origin in numerous states. In the last week, there have been eight probable human instances of JEV infection in Victoria, with six people hospitalised.

“A national working group of communicable disease, vaccine, and arbovirus experts has been established to support the response, including mosquito surveillance and control measures and identification of those at direct risk, and for the rollout of vaccines,” Australia’s Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sonya Bennett, confirmed on March 4, 2022.

“Affected communities will be the focus of public health communications about mosquito protection.”

Humans can become infected with JEV by being bitten by an infected mosquito, according to the CDC.

JEV, on the other hand, cannot be transmitted between people and cannot be contracted through the consumption of pork products.

Only about 1% of those infected acquire a serious disease, and even fewer have lasting neurological issues or die.

According to the World Health Organization, JEV is the major cause of viral encephalitis in many Asian nations, with an estimated 68,000 clinical cases each year.

Molecular analyses imply that original JEV originated in the Indonesia/Malaysia region, despite the fact that JEV was first recognised as a public health hazard in Japan.

Because of factors like as epidemic areas, vector dispersion, climate, geographical position, social health, and economics, Asian countries are very concerned about JE.

JEV vaccinations are available in two forms around the world.

The FDA has approved Valneva SE’s Ixiaro, an inactivated, adsorbed Vero cell culture-derived vaccine.

A collaboration with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research resulted in the development of the Ixiaro vaccine. JEV strain SA14-14-2 is propagated in Vero cells to make it.

The CDC had not issued a Travel Advisory for Queenland’s JEV epidemic as of March 6, 2022.


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