By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency has reported at least one confirmed and two suspect Japanese encephalitis (JE) cases. All the cases were reported from Gyeonggi Province, or the province surrounding Seoul.

Image by Егор Камелев from Pixabay

According to officials, all three cases are aged 50 and above ( a woman in her 60s, a woman in her 70s and a man in his 50s).

All 3 started exhibiting symptoms in September.

South Korea is within the endemic area of JE virus and cases occur sporadically there.

JE is the most important cause of viral encephalitis in Asia. About 68,000 clinical cases are reported annually. It usually occurs in rural or agricultural areas, often associated with rice farming.

JE virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected Culex species mosquitoes, particularly Culex tritaeniorhynchus.

Most JE virus infections are mild (fever and headache) or without apparent symptoms, but approximately 1 in 250 infections results in severe disease characterized by rapid onset of high fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, seizures, spastic paralysis and death. The case-fatality rate can be as high as 30% among those with disease symptoms.

There is a protective vaccine against Japanese encephalitis virus.

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