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Acute Encephalitis Syndrome and Japanese Encephalitis in India

21 Jun 2017

Media has reported 313 cases of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) and 10 deaths in Odisha (Orissa) to the end of May 2017. The deaths have occurred in seven districts of the state: Khurda, Balasore, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Nayagarh, Puri and Sambalpur. Two cases have been reported positive for Japanese encephalitis.  Deaths from AES have also been reported in Uttar Pradesh (56), West Bengal (49) and Assam (32). The state with the highest number of AES cases is Tamil Nadu (401) although no deaths have been recorded there this year.

Advice for Travellers

Japanese encephalitis vaccine is available for those considered to be at risk. Avoidance of mosquito bites by 'covering up', using insect repellent and impregnated bed nets is essential to avoid insect borne disease.

AES may be caused by various infectious agents, which are not always identified. Travellers should maintain a high standard of food, water and personal hygiene whilst in this area as AES may be caused by an enterovirus.

For further information see Japanese Encephalitis