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Japanese Encephalitis

Key facts

  • Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is a flavivirus related to dengue, yellow fever and West Nile viruses, and is spread by mosquitoes.
  • JEV is the main cause of viral encephalitis in many countries of Asia with an estimated 68 000 clinical cases every year.
  • Although symptomatic Japanese encephalitis (JE) is rare, the case-fatality rate among those with encephalitis can be as high as 30%. Permanent neurologic or psychiatric sequelae can occur in 30%–50% of those with encephalitis.
  • 24 countries in the WHO South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions have endemic JEV transmission, exposing more than 3 billion people to risks of infection.
Read more: Japanese Encephalitis

Malaria

Malaria is a disease spread by the bite of infected mosquitos. It causes an infection of the red blood cells that can sometimes be fatal if left untreated. Like many diseases, it is better to prevent it, if possible, than treat it.

Malaria symptoms

If you are developing malaria, you usually start to feel unwell 1 to 4 weeks after infection. You might have:

  • fever that might come and go
  • headache and aching joints
  • nausea, and possibly diarrhoea or vomiting
  • yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice).

If untreated, malaria can cause anaemia, kidney failure, seizures, coma and even death. Malaria can occur months after infection, and some types can recur years later.

Read more: Malaria

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever is a viral disease spread only by certain mosquitoes – mostly Aedes aegypti or "dengue mosquitoes", which are common in tropical areas around the world. Towns in north Queensland that have Aedes aegypti are prone to outbreaks of dengue when the virus is brought in by travellers. While some towns in central and south Queensland also have dengue mosquitoes, they have had no dengue outbreaks in recent years.

Between outbreaks, Australia is free of dengue fever, but continuous efforts to control the mosquitoes are needed to keep it that way. Local Aedes aegypti are not normally infected with the virus, unless they have bitten a person sick with dengue.

There are four types of dengue virus, numbered 1 to 4. After infection, a person is immune only to that particular type. Further infections with a different type have a higher chance of severe or complicated dengue.

Read more: Dengue Fever

Ross River Fever

Ross River fever is caused by infection with Ross River virus, one of a group of viruses called arboviruses (or arthropod-borne viruses), which are spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes.

What are the symptoms?

Many people who are infected with the virus will never develop symptoms.

  • Some people will have flu-like symptoms that include fever, chills, headache and aches and pains in the muscles and joints.
  • Some joints can become swollen, and joint stiffness may be particularly noticeable in the morning.
  • Sometimes a rash occurs on the body, arms or legs. The rash usually disappears after 7 to 10 days.
Read more: Ross River Fever