In a follow-up on the Japanese encephalitis situation in Australia, the Department of Health now reports 42 human cases in Australia, including four fatalities.
29 have been confirmed with definitive laboratory evidence:
- New South Wales (13)
- Queensland (2)
- South Australia (4)
- Victoria (10)
13 are probable cases where the person has been linked epidemiologically and/or has symptoms of the disease and has laboratory suggestive evidence:
- Queensland (3)
- South Australia (5)
- Victoria (4)
- NSW (1)
In March, a Declaration of a Communicable Disease Incident of National Significance was issued by Australia’s Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Sonya Bennett.
Japanese encephalitis is caused by the Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV). It is spread through mosquito bites and is more common in areas of increased mosquito activity.
Infection in humans is most commonly asymptomatic, but on rare occasions it can result in severe disease and even death.
It cannot be transmitted from human to human, or by eating meat from an infected animal.
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