Japanese encephalitis causes deaths in West Bengal, India

Among the almost 700 cases of acute encephalitis (brain inflammation) reported in West Bengal this year, a total of 44 cases have died from encephalitis caused by the Japanese encephalitis virus.

Short-term travellers and those who restrict their visits to urban areas are generally at very low risk. Those at higher risk are travellers who visit or work in rural agricultural areas such as rice fields and marshland. Long-term travellers and expatriates are also at higher risk. All travellers can reduce their risk of exposure to Japanese encephalitis virus by taking all necessary precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Vaccination against Japanese encephalitis is recommended for people who may be at risk.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Japanese encephalitis.

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