Wednesday, 21 March 2012

A Short notes on Japanese Encephalitis (Dimagi Bukhar)

Japanese Encephalitis (JE) is an illness caused by infection with a flavivirus that belongs to the family Flaviviridae. This virus is a part of a group of viruses known as arboviruses that are spread by arthropods (mosquitoes or ticks).
The JE virus is carried by a variety of different mosquitoes, but not all. Mosquitoes spread the virus between humans and animals, and Culex annulirostris.
People can be infected with the JE virus and may have asymptomatic infections (not feel sick).
Symptoms include very severe headaches, fever, tremors, convulsions, paralysis and coma. Some patients may have neck stiffness and sleepiness. Severe cases may go from confusion to delirium to coma.
In horses the virus causes encephalitis, and in pigs it causes still births. 
japanese encephalitis Dimagi bukhar life cycle by chiragan

japanese encephalitis Dimagi bukhar life cycle by chiragan

japanese encephalitis Dimagi bukhar life cycle by chiragan

Japanese encephalitis is diagnosed by doing laboratory tests on blood samples to find either the virus or the antibodies that are produced by the body as a reaction to the virus.
The JE virus is spread by mosquitoes, and people may be infected when bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus. Mothers can also pass on the virus to their unborn baby, which causes still births.
The lifecycle of the JE virus involves mosquitoes, vertebrate animals and water birds.
Adult female mosquitoes need blood to develop their egg batches, and can become infected with the virus when feeding on the blood of an infected animal.The virus then multiplies inside the saliva glands of infected females, which inject the virus into animals or humans they later feed on.
Pigs and wild waterbirds are important hosts for the virus, because it can multiply to very high levels in their blood. This increases the chances of mosquitoes being infected when feeding on them.
The virus is not transmitted from person to person, and a mosquito remains infected f
Children younger than 15 years are most at risk of having a severe illness, and the JE mortality rate is highest in children aged 5-9 years. 

How do we prevent it from occurring?

Community education on the disease, and how it is spread, is the main method for reducing the occurrence of JE. Education programs should highlight the importance of reducing mosquito populations and avoiding being bitten. Preventative measures discussed may include:
  • Removing mosquito-breeding sites from around communities. Sites include blocked roof gutters, pot plant drip trays, and any containers that may hold water after rain (tins, tyres or jars).
  • Keeping swimming pools full and well maintained, and fishponds stocked with fish to stop mosquitoes breeding in them.
  • Screening septic tank vents and rainwater tanks, and flushing unused toilets once a week to stop mosquitoes breeding in them.
  • Screening living areas, and using mosquito bed-nets to keep out mosquitoes. Mosquito coils and mats can be used to kill adult mosquitoes in the home.
  • Avoiding being outside in areas where mosquitoes are present just before sunset or sunrise, and for 2 hours after, because this is when they are most active.
  • Wearing loose light-coloured long-sleeved shirts and long trousers, socks and covered footwear to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes. Clothing can be sprayed with mosquito repellents for further protection.
  • Using insect repellents in areas where mosquitoes are active. Repellents containing 20-30% diethyl toluaminde (DEET) offer the best protection. However, they should not be used on small children. Repellents containing around 6% DEET are available, which are registered for use on kids. Repellents need to be applied every 4 hours.
  • Sleeping under mosquito nets, because repellents do not last all night long. 
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