DR. GAFANOVICH DOES NOT ADMINISTER JAPANESE ENCEPHALITIS VACCINATIONS. UPON YOUR REQUEST, YOU WILL BE DIRECTED TO WEST SIDE GROUP OF SPECIALISTS WHO CARRY THIS TYPE OF VACCINE. PLEASE BE AWARE THAT POLIO IS NORMALLY NOT COVERED BY INSURANCE PLAN.
What is Japanese Encephalitis?
Japanese Encephalitis is a serious infection caused by a virus that occurs mainly in rural Asia. Mosquitos are responsible for spreading the virus. It cannot pass from human to human. Most people who are infected with JEV do not present any symptoms of the disease. Those who do show symptoms can present symptoms from fever and headache to a severe brain infection (encephalitis.)
The symptoms of JEV are headache, fever, stiffness of the head and neck, waning in and out of consciousness and coma. One in four people who contract the virus die. For those that survive, about 50 percent suffer from permanent brain damage. There have been cases where pregnant women have passed the virus on their fetuses.
The best way to prevent Japanese Encephalitis is to avoid being bitten by mosquitos. Stay inside screened areas, where clothing that covers most of your body and use insect repellent containing DEET. If you are planning a camping trip, bring mosquito nets. The best way to prevent contracting the virus is to avoid travel to areas where the disease is prevalent. However, if travel is unavoidable, it is highly recommended and sometimes required that you get the JEV vaccine before entering the country.
The incubation period for Japanese Encephalitis is 5 to 15 days.
Who should be vaccinated and when?
Anyone who is planning on spending one month or more in Asia where the virus is prevalent should be inoculated. If you are planning on visiting Asia, especially rural Asia, it is highly advisable to be inoculated for the virus. If you are not sure of your travel plans, or you participate in charitable endeavors or adventure travel, get the vaccine.
The FDA has not approved anyone under the age of 17 for the vaccination. Avoid taking children under the age of 17 to certain areas of Asia where the virus is known to be a problem.
The vaccine is given in a series of two injections – 28 days apart, with the second dose given at least one week before travel. A booster dose of JEV can be given to anyone who has waited at least one year since their initial vaccination and are still at risk of exposure to the virus. It can be used in conjunction with other vaccines.
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Traveling outside of USA and concerned about your health? Travel vaccinations are recommended for many destinations. Find out about the requirements and talk to a physician.
Who shouldn’t get the vaccine?
Anyone under the age of 17 should not be inoculated against Japanese Encephalitis. If you have ever had a serious or life threatening allergic reaction to this vaccine, you should avoid a second dose. Until early 2011, there was an alternative vaccine available. That vaccine has gone to the wayside, and has been replaced by a new vaccine. A life threatening reaction to the old vaccine does not necessarily indicate that you are allergic to the new vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you think you may be allergic to a component of the vaccine, or are pregnant. Some pregnant women may be permitted to get the vaccine. The risk of harm or death from this vaccine is very low. Side-effects may include pain at the injection site, muscle aches or headaches.