Emerging Disease Alert - Japanese Encephalitus Virus

Mosquito on skin

Japanese Encephalitis is a serious viral disease that is spread through mosquito bites. When people become infected, they may experience severe brain inflammation.

3 human cases of JEV have been detected in the Northern Territory, including a woman in the Tiwi Islands who died after contracting the virus.

Wild water birds and pigs can help spread the virus. Pigs bitten by infected mosquitoes can amplify the virus, making more copies of it within their bodies. A mosquito that bites the infected pig or water bird can then spread the virus to a human by biting them. The disease can’t be spread from person to person, or by eating pig or water bird meat.

There is NO treatment for Japanese Encephalitis, so prevention is critical. Avoid areas where mosquitoes are present with water birds or pigs. Protect yourself from mosquito bites by wearing protective clothing and by using repellents.

For more information about the virus, click here.

Media Contact:

Bethany O’SULLIVAN | Communications Coordinator | (08) 8972 9024 | bethany.osullivan@ropergulf.nt.gov.au 

Image from World Health Organisation