Creating a healthier, better connected Gippsland.

Health alert – Health warning on Japanese encephalitis 14 September 2022

Status: Active

Date issued: 14 September 2022 (update to 6 April 2022)

Issued by: Associate Professor Deborah Friedman, Deputy Chief Health Officer (Communicable Disease)

Issued to: Health professionals, residents and visitors in north and north western Victoria.

Key messages

  • Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus can cause a rare but potentially serious infection of the brain and is spread to humans by infected mosquitoes.
  • Locally-acquired human cases were seen in Victoria for the first time earlier this year.
  • JE virus was detected in pigs in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia earlier in 2022. JE virus was also detected in mosquitoes in several locations in Victoria earlier this year.
  • Most JE virus infections are asymptomatic, however those with severe infection (less than one per cent) may develop encephalitis which can lead to permanent disability or death.
  • In Victoria, a JE vaccine is available free-of-charge for specific priority groups residing or working in high-risk areas, where exposure to the virus is considered more likely.
  • The simplest and best way to prevent JE virus infection during mosquito season is to avoid mosquito bites.
  • Read the full advisory: Health warning on Japanese encephalitis 

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