How can Japanese encephalitis be prevented?

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Japanese encephalitis (JE) can be prevented with the Japanese encephalitis vaccine (IXIARO). This disease is spread by mosquitoes carrying the virus that causes it and is not contagious. It mainly occurs in rural Asia, so people living or traveling there for long periods are at greatest risk for contracting JE.

The JE vaccine works by helping the body produce antibodies to the Japanese encephalitis virus, but it's not 100% effective. If you're traveling to an area where the virus is present, you can protect yourself from exposure to the virus by:
  • staying inside well-screened areas
  • wearing clothes that cover as much skin as possible (long sleeves, long pants, etc.)
  • using an effective insect repellent on your skin
  • applying permethrin to your clothing or wearing permethrin-treated clothing and gear (be sure that permethrin does not come into direct contact with your skin)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.