Japanese encephalitis is a rare but serious infection you can get from mosquito bites in some parts of the world. If you’re travelling to an area where there’s a risk of catching it, you can get a vaccine to help prevent it.
Check if you’re at risk of Japanese encephalitis
Japanese encephalitis is not found in the UK. It’s mostly found in rural areas of Asia, but it’s rare for travellers to get it.
It’s caused by a virus which is spread through mosquito bites.
Places where Japanese encephalitis is found include parts of:
Southeast Asia (such as Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam)
Japanese encephalitis vaccine
A vaccine for Japanese encephalitis is recommended if you’re travelling to a part of the world where the virus is found, especially if:
you’re staying for more than a month
you’re staying in a rural area
you’re staying near or visiting rice fields, wetlands, or places where pigs are kept
You’ll have to pay for the Japanese encephalitis vaccine. You can get it from travel health clinics and pharmacies with travel health services.
Symptoms of Japanese encephalitis
Most people who get Japanese encephalitis have no symptoms.
Some people get flu-like symptoms such as:
a high temperature
feeling or being sick
The symptoms usually go away on their own, but in some people the infection spreads to the brain and causes more serious symptoms such as:
a severe headache
not being able to feel or move parts of your body (paralysis)