Indian health officials confirmed 108 cases of Japanese encephalitis (JE), in Maharashtra between January 1 and late December, a 260 percent increase over the number of cases reported over the same period in 2017. Authorities have advised people to take measures to protect themselves against mosquito bites. Public health measures - including vaccination campaigns and efforts to destroy mosquito breeding grounds - are possible in Maharashtra in the coming days and weeks.
Encephalitis is typically spread via mosquito bite, with symptoms including headache, fever, aches in muscles or joints, fatigue, or weakness. The symptoms of the more serious Japanese encephalitis include fever, headache, vomiting, confusion, difficulty moving, swelling around the brain, and coma. Symptoms typically develop five to 15 days after infection.
Individuals are advised to take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites (e.g. by wearing covering clothing, using insect repellent, and sleeping under mosquito netting or in an air-conditioned room).
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