WHAT IS JAPANESE ENCEPHALITIS?
Japanese Encephalitis is a disease that is carried by mosquitoes, pigs, and wading birds. It is found in Asia and the Western Pacific and is the "leading cause of preventable vaccines" (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). It will mainly cause slight effects but in extreme cases will cause brain swelling, head ache, high fever, disorientation, coma, tremors and convulsions.
It is a common vaccine for everyone over the age of 2 months living in rural parts of Asia as well as anyone who is travelling. A booster shot is recommended at the age of 17 or older to decrease chances of acquiring the virus. 1 in 4 cases are fatal, 30% of adults infected die while 70% of infected children die. There are nearly 70,000 cases each year, and 10,000 to 15,000 are fatal. First incidents of the disease were documented in 1871 in Japan with an estimated 68,000 cases globally.
How Does JE Affect the Anatomy and Physiology?
Japanese Encephalitis affects the anatomy of the body by possibly causing swelling (due to the affects it causes to the Central Nervous System of the brain), comas, seizures,spastic paralysis and ultimately death. It affects the physiology by wrecking havoc on the brainstem, cerebrum, cerebellum, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. It destroys nerve cells and causes damage to the brain. Due to the damage in the nerve cells, Epilepsy is developed, which will further the damage to the brain as a whole.
How Does the Vaccine Work?
The IXIARO vaccine is given in 2 doses spaced 28 days apart. It is a protein and is used to neutralize antibodies. Upon injection, B memory cells will produce antibodies to fight the disease. It provides long lasting protection without the use of T cells.
Amount of cases of JE in 2006
Although JE is mostly a contained disease, it is still important to receive a vaccine if someone lives in one of the areas most affected.