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Japanese Encephalitis

Posted by daniel4 on 5/6/2011 at 04:50

Japanese Encephalitis is it worth it? We are traveling to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand this coming July and wondering whether to bother with Japanese Encephalitis, given the costs involved.
Just wondering what the general consensus is ?

#1 daniel4 has been a member since 23/5/2011. Posts: 13

Posted by NogolSalehi on 19/7/2011 at 06:30

We are having the same dilemma right now. We are going to be going to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam...and we aren't sure if it's worth it to get the vaccine! Please let me know what your consensus is and the reasons for it!

Cheers,
Nogol

#2 NogolSalehi has been a member since 19/7/2011. Posts: 2


Posted by Tessie on 23/7/2011 at 20:34

Asked my doctor the same question & he said only if you are going for an extended period of time, otherwise not to worry. I think he mentioned six months or more.

We got Hep A & Typhoid (these now come in a combined vaccine), Polio, Diptheria etc ... & tetanus booster.

Basically, our doctor's opinion is that you are more likely to injure youself than contract a nasty disease! (as long as you are careful!) He should know, both him & his wife are Vietnamese.

Anyway, best person to ask is your GP.

Cheers,
Tessie

#3 Tessie has been a member since 13/7/2011. Posts: 8

Posted by Tessie on 23/7/2011 at 20:37

Asked my doctor the same question & he said only if you are going for an extended period of time, otherwise not to worry. I think he mentioned six months or more.

We got Hep A & Typhoid (these now come in a combined vaccine), Polio, Diptheria etc ... & tetanus booster.

Basically, our doctor's opinion is that you are more likely to injure youself than contract a nasty disease! (as long as you are careful!) He should know, both him & his wife are Vietnamese.

Anyway, best person to ask is your GP.

Cheers,
Tessie

#4 Tessie has been a member since 13/7/2011. Posts: 8

Posted by Criggy on 22/2/2012 at 08:52

Hi, I realise this post is a little dated, but I've found it when researching for an upcoming trip so i'm sure others will - just wanted to post my opinion / the results of my research...

I've been advised not to get the vaccine unless you are travelling for a "prolonged period" (a month or more) OR if you're travelling for a shorter period and are visiting rural areas (think rice paddies in Vietnam = mossies?!)

I took a look into the symptoms, causes, effects etc... Weighed up the risks and decided to get the vaccine... It cost a lot (about $400 in the USA... In hindsight I think I should have got it while I was in the UK) and you need two doses spaced 28 days apart. The clinching factor for me was the nugget of information I found from the WHO that mentions something along the lines of "one in four people who get it DIE, and of those that don't, the majority suffer permanent brain damage"...

At then end of the day, its piece of mind... I'm travelling for two months and plan to go as rural as I can... I don't want to spend the whole two months panicking about every mossie bite and creating my own symptoms out of paranoia...

#5 Criggy has been a member since 21/2/2012. Posts: 13

Posted by altmtl on 22/2/2012 at 11:53

Waste of money... not needed.

#6 altmtl has been a member since 18/5/2009. Location: Canada. Posts: 992
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Posted by tyler on 22/2/2012 at 20:01

The topic of JE comes up before each trip to SEA at the travel clinic prior to leaving. I have been told not to bother...

#7 tyler has been a member since 7/12/2010. Location: Canada. Posts: 257
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Posted by softburiedheart on 14/4/2012 at 10:38

I decided against it, and I was later told that you only need it for remote places where you might come into contact with pigs or be around rice paddies... Personally, I think it's a waste of money but it's definitely up to you for your own peace of mind!

#8 softburiedheart has been a member since 12/4/2012. Posts: 3

Posted by daniel4 on 14/4/2012 at 12:26

Well - we got back from Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia without Japanese Encephalitis and had no problems. Except for me, when I had some severe problems in Con Dao ( Vietnam) not sure what it was, but the food made me really ill - lost a lot of weight and my illness lasted for a good 4 weeks or so. Plenty of mosquitoes all over, but we became extremely cautious and slept under nets and used repellant and covered up. Also used sleeping sheets in most hotels (even the good ones) - a little bit over the top I know, but , I preferred to err on maintaining my health than having to deal with other stuff - especially since we were away for 4 months and I wanted to enjoy my travels rather than the alternative. One member of our group didn't take these precautions and she was seriously bitten and found quite a lot of her time being pretty uncomfortable. But, again, take doctors advice as situations change rapidly.
However, use common sense - even my Vietnamese friends living in Can Tho used precautions and frequently complained about the mosquitoes.


Overall though great trip and I would recommend S.E. Asia to all.

#9 daniel4 has been a member since 23/5/2011. Posts: 13

Posted by ProfessorKlunge on 1/5/2012 at 10:37

Is it worth it? That depends on how much you value your life! Of course there will always be people advising against the jab! But it is not fairly obvious that these charmed souls have never been unlucky enough to have had JE!
I am sure that even the most ardent cynic would be singing from a different song sheet if they were lying in a filthy Cambodian hospital with their brains swelling uncontrollably. (Which is what Encephalitis means)
Yes the risk is minute, even if you contract JE, the chances are you would probably not even know you had it. Something like 1 in every 200 people bitten have a serious reaction to the disease. BUT, of those people seriously affected, 30% die, and 30% have permanent brain damage. So you have a 40% chance of pulling through unaffected.
A British girl died in March 2012 after contracting JE backpacking through Laos. This is the supposed low transmission period for JE.
Chances are you are more likely to get hit by a car than be affected by JE. But if you could have a £135 jab to guarantee you wouldn't get hit by a car, you would probably have that too. Remember, there is no cure if you are one of the unlucky ones!

#10 ProfessorKlunge has been a member since 1/5/2012. Posts: 1

Posted by Suturn on 25/6/2012 at 12:02

Completely agreeing with #10, it's a vaccine not a medicine you have to take daily like with malaria. It's crazy though that it's so expensive in the US. In Norway it's less than a 100.

#11 Suturn has been a member since 14/4/2012. Location: Italy. Posts: 28


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