Where is the risk of Japanese Encephalitis most acute and what should be done?
The risk of Japanese encephalitis (JE) outbreaks is less than malaria and dengue and restricted to Sri Lanka. When large stretches of flooded area are washed out by monsoon rains and turn into freshwater, populations of the mosquitoes Culex tritaeniorrhynchus and Culex gelidus (vectors of JE) may rapidly build up, and may start biting humans (instead of their normal hosts of - domestic animals - which will have been decimated by the disaster). In normal circumstances, pigs are the amplifying hosts of the JE virus; in this emergency situation, direct transmission from herons and similar birds to humans cannot be excluded.
- vaccination of vulnerable groups (children) in areas at risk;
- personal protection from mosquito bites through the use of insecticide treated mosquito nets
- use of insect repellents