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Japanese encephalitis

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Fact sheet - Health conditions directory

Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a serious infection of the brain caused by a virus that can be spread by some (but not all) types of mosquitoes. JE occurs in many parts of Southeast Asia and China, and in recent years the disease has extended beyond its traditional boundaries with occasional cases in eastern Indonesia, occasional outbreaks in the Torres Strait and one case in north Queensland. JE is now considered endemic in the Torres Strait region and Papua New Guinea. The type of mosquitoes that are able to spread JE breed extensively early in the wet season, and it is possible that the prevailing northwest winds and tropical storms may have blown infected mosquitoes into the Torres Strait.

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Last updated: 5 June 2023

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