The Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health yesterday issued warning of the disease of Japan encephalitis during June and July when the disease reaches the peak season.
Medical experts refused the rumor that eating litchi is the cause of the disease which breaks out at the same time with the fruit blossom.
Japanese encephalitis is a type of viral brain infection yet the disease is not directly spread from a person to a person but it spreads through mosquito bites, said Dr. Tran Dac Phu, head of the Department of Preventive Medicine.
The virus is found in pigs and birds, and is passed to mosquitoes when they bite infected animals. Mosquitoes transmitting the disease live in paddy field and grow quickly in summer and rainy season especially in the North Vietnam. Accordingly, most of the cases are recorded in the North. Outbreaks of Japan encephalitis have seen in rural mountainous northern provinces where there are pig farms and paddle rice field.
The disease develops from April to October and peak season is June and July. Statistics show that annually, the country has hundreds to 1,000 cases of encephalitis and Japan encephalitis accounts for 20 percent. Most of cases involve children under the age of 15 not only in Vietnam but also in many Asian countries.
Most people infected by the Japanese encephalitis virus have high temperature (fever), seizures (fits), stiff neck, confusion, inability to speak, uncontrollable shaking of body parts (tremor), and muscle weakness or paralysis. The rate of fatality is from 10-20 percent.
The best way to prevent Japanese encephalitis is to be vaccinated against the infection before you visit a part of the world where there's a risk of catching it.
Residents should build cattle farm far away from house and kill mosquitoes and its place to lay eggs people should sleep in mosquito net and should take children to hospitals if they develop fever and these symptoms of encephalitis.