Japanese encephalitis vaccines given to Balinese children as part of their routine immunisations in April this year appear to be behind several media reports of an outbreak of the infection on the island. On the weekend, however, the Head of the Bali Provincial Health Office refuted the existence of an outbreak, stating that ‘there was only one case of JE in January and it was cured, there was no death’. The island houses large numbers of pigs, the basis of the famous local dish 'babi guling' but also an amplifier of the Japanese encephalitis virus. With a heightened risk of transmission, authorities have aimed to vaccinate all children from the age of nine months to 15 years against JE. Read more
Advice for travellers
A mosquito-borne virus, JE is usually found in many part of Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and China, although cases also occur in Indonesia and PNG. It is mainly found in rural areas around rice paddies where pigs, wading birds and humans live closely together, however it does also occur in or near cities. The risk to short-stay travellers who confine their travel to urban centres and use appropriate mosquito bite avoidance measures is low. The recommendations for vaccination are itinerary-specific. Read more on JE.
Before you travel, call Travelvax Australia’s telephone advisory service on 1300 360 164 (toll-free from landlines) for country-specific advice and information. You can also make an appointment at your nearest Travelvax clinic to obtain vaccinations, medication to prevent or treat illness, and accessories for your journey.