Date issued: 30 December 2022
Issued by: Associate Professor Deborah Friedman, Deputy Chief Health Officer (Communicable Disease)
Issued to: Health professionals and the Victorian community
- A case of Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus infection has been identified in a Campaspe LGA resident, the first identified case of JEV infection in Victoria this mosquito season.
- JE virus can cause a rare but potentially serious infection of the brain and is spread to humans through mosquito bites.
- New South Wales and South Australia have also recently reported their first case of JE virus infection.
- Most JE virus infections are asymptomatic. A small proportion may present with a febrile illness, however less than one per cent may experience severe infection manifested by headache, vomiting, disorientation, seizures, coma, and more rarely, permanent neurological complications or death.
- Anyone experiencing these symptoms, should seek urgent medical attention.
- Clinicians must consider and test for JE virus in patients with a compatible illness.
- Clinicians should notify the Department immediately of suspected cases by calling 1300 651 160 (24 hours).
- Avoid mosquito bites by using mosquito repellent containing picaridin or DEET on all exposed skin. Wear long, loose fitting clothing when outside, and ensure accommodation, including tents are properly fitted with mosquito nettings or screens.
- Read the full Alert: New Japanese encephalitis case detected in Victoria