Topic of the Day - Japanese Encephalitis

UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – Japanese Encephalitis

Japanese Encephalitis virus (JEV) is a flavivirus spread by mosquitoes and is related to same genus as yellow fever, dengue and West Nile Viruses.  JEV is the primary cause for viral Encephalitis in a large number of countries in the Asian continent. In 1871, the first case of Japanese Encephalitis was recorded in Japan.

This topic would be of importance in the IAS Exam in the General Science section.

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In addition, the following links given below will also help you in preparation for the General Science Segment of the UPSC Exams:

JEV is transmitted to humans through bites from infected mosquitoes of the Culexspecies (mainly Culex tritaeniorhynchus) which breeds mostly in the rice fields.  Japanese Encephalitis is also transmitted by the mosquitoes when they feed on wild birds and pigs infected wity the JEV. The disease does not transmit from one person to another. The disease transmission is very high during rainy seasons due to the drastic increase in the population of vector. Though the disease has no cure, there are safe and effective vaccines available for prevention of the disease. The treatment aims helping the patient overcome the infection and at relieving severe clinical signs.

The disease mostly affects children. Individuals of any age maybe affected by the disease, but most of the adult population in the countries where Japanese Encephalitis is endemic have a natural immunity after the childhood infection. WHO has made recommendations for inclusion of the JEV vaccine in the national immunisation schedule of all the areas that recognise Japanese Encephalitis as a public health issue in order to control and prevent the disease. It provides global recommendations for JE control, including the use of vaccine.

DASTAK Campaign:

The government of Uttar Pradesh has recently launched a huge door to door campaign DASTAK, to prevent Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) and Japanese Encephalitis (JE) to make sure that the disease is eradicated from the state at the earliest. The campaign was launched in association with UNICEF. Awareness about the disease will be created by initiating sanitation drive, ensuring vaccination and early treatment to the disease, through mass media communication etc.

Candidates can go through the relevant links for their exam preparation-

Havana Syndrome Acute Encephalitis Syndrome RSTV Zoonotic Diseases
COVID-19 What is a Virus? Tuberculosis
Haemophilia Hypothermia Hypoxia

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FAQ about Japanese Encephalitis

What happens if you get Japanese encephalitis?

Initial symptoms are fever, chills, headache, fatigue, nausea and vomiting. The disease can progress to inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) and is often accompanied by seizures. Coma and paralysis also occur in some cases.

Which organ is affected by Japanese encephalitis?

Japanese Encephalitis is a viral infection that affects parts of the central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord. It is the leading cause of viral neurological disease. it is more prevalent among children.

For more of UPSC related preparation materials visit the linked articles:

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UPSC Calendar 2021 Daily Video Analysis: The Hindu
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