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Japanese Encephalitis Deaths

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A mosquito-borne infection caused by the Japanese Encephalitis virus. Domestic pigs and wild birds can carry the virus, which occurs mainly in Southeast Asia and Eastern Asia. Most infected people have no symptoms. In about 1 in 250 cases the virus infects the brain. The illness starts with a fever and headache. If the brain gets infected there may be convulsions (epileptic fits), paralysis (hemiparesis) and mental slowing which often leads to unconsciousness (coma). It is more often fatal in children. If not fatal it can cause long term brain damage. Territories which have had major epidemics in the past include China, Republic of Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Thailand. They have controlled it largely by widespread vaccination. The first vaccine was produced in Japan in the 1930s. The vaccine is expensive, which means that poorer countries have not been able to afford to include it in routine immunisation programmes.

Japanese encephalitis caused 0.02% of all deaths worldwide in 2002, with an average of 2 deaths per million people.

International Classification of Diseases-10 codes: A83.0,

Territories are sized in proportion to the absolute number of people who died from japanese encephalitis in one year.

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