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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 48  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 49-56

Japanese encephalitis globally and in India.

JE Project, CVP, PATH, Seattle, WA, USA

Correspondence Address:
J Jacobson
JE Project, CVP, PATH, Seattle, WA, USA

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 15709584

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Japanese encephalitis is demonstrated to be a significant public health problem in India and throughout Asia. JE primarily affects children between the ages of one and 15 years. Of those who contract the disease, approximately 70% either die or are left with a long-term neurological disability. JE vaccines have existed for a very long time, however due to cost and unstable supply, they have not been able to meet the needs of developing country health systems. In addition, alternative JE control measures have proven insufficient to control disease. As a result, 68 percent of babies born in the poorest countries of Asia are at risk for JE. Against this background, future directions for JE activities in India include control through vaccination when an affordable vaccine is available (at risk areas), strengthening surveillance data on disease patterns including age and geographic distribution, involvement of the private sector and incorporation of newer diagnostics as they become available and to focus on control efforts and prevent this debilitating disease now and in the future. Recent work, both internationally and in India, offers hope to help solve this public health problem and protect children from this disease.

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