Japanese encephalitis: review of recommendations

06 November 2018

Article: 52/4401

TRAVAX have completed a review of the Japanese encephalitis vaccine recommendations for all countries.

Utilising World Health Organisation (WHO) data, the incidence of Japanese encephalitis from 2013 - 2017 was calculated for each country.

There are currently 22 countries where human cases are reported. Taking into consideration both incidence and the presence of a national immunisation schedule, the risk of travellers acquiring the disease is considered to be small for all affected countries. As such, TRAVAX have ‘downgraded’ their vaccine recommendation from ‘sometimes advised’ to ‘selectively advised - only for travellers at highest risk’.

In affected countries, practitioners should consider vaccinating:

  • those likely to be frequently exposed to mosquito bites in rural infected areas (e.g. backpackers, agricultural workers, volunteers);
  • long stays (e.g. more than one month) in infected areas;
  • repeated visits to risk areas (e.g. flood plains, rice paddies, marshlands);
  • short stays during epidemics/outbreaks;
  • migrants going to live in an endemic area.

Information and advice for travellers on Japanese encephalitis is available from the TRAVAX (for health professionals) and fitfortravel (for the general public) websites.

Source: TRAVAX, 31 October 2018