In a follow-up on the human Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) situation in Australia, the Department of Health now reports 32 human cases of JEV in Australia.
The breakdown of cases is as follows: 20 have been confirmed with definitive laboratory evidence in four states: New South Wales (8), Queensland (2), South Australia (3) and Victoria (7).
In addition, 12 are probable cases where the person has been linked epidemiologically and/or has symptoms of the disease and has laboratory suggestive evidence: Queensland (2), South Australia (5), Victoria (4) and NSW (1).
Three deaths have been reported–One in New South Wales, one in South Australia and one in Victoria.
On 4 March 2022, Australia’s Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Sonya Bennett, declared the Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) situation a Communicable Disease Incident of National Significance.
A national working group of communicable disease, vaccine and arbovirus experts has been established.
The working group will support Australia’s response to the JEV situation. This will include:
- mosquito surveillance and control measures
- identification of those at direct risk, and for the rollout of vaccines.
Public health communications regarding mosquito protection will target affected communities.
JEV is a nationally notifiable disease in both humans and animals.