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Vaccines to Prevent Japanese Encephalitis
The Japanese encephalitis (JE) vaccine (manufactured as IXIARO) is the only JE vaccine licensed and available in the United States. This vaccine was approved in March 2009 for use in people aged 17 years and older and in May 2013 for use in children 2 months through 16 years of age. Other JE vaccines are manufactured and used in other countries but are not licensed for use in the United States.
IXIARO is given in 2 doses:
For more information, visit the CDC's Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine site.
Last reviewed: November 2012
Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a serious infection caused by a virus. It occurs mainly in rural parts of Asia.
JE virus spreads through the bite of infected mosquitoes. It cannot spread directly from person-to-person. The risk of JE is very low for most travelers, but it is higher for people living or traveling for long periods in areas where the disease is common.
Most people infected with JE virus don’t have any symptoms at all. For others, JE virus infection can cause illness ranging from fever and headache to severe encephalitis (brain infection).
Symptoms of encephalitis are fever, neck stiffness, seizures, changes in consciousness, or coma.
About one person in four with encephalitis dies. Of those who don’t die, up to half may suffer permanent brain damage. There is some evidence that an infection in a pregnant woman can harm her unborn baby.
Residents of rural areas in endemic locations, active duty military deployed to endemic areas, and visitors to these rural areas are at higher risk for Japanese Encephalitis (JE). Japanese encephalitis does not usually occur in urban areas.
Travelers to parts of Asia are at higher risk for JE, and should ask their providers about vaccination before traveling.