NSW Health has recorded a second death of a person with Japanese encephalitis.
Sadly, NSW Health can confirm the man in his 60s from the Corowa area, who was diagnosed with Japanese encephalitis virus in early March, died at Albury Base Hospital on Friday 20 May.
To date a total of 13 NSW residents have been infected with JE and two have died. While evidence shows mosquito numbers have declined, it remains important that people throughout the state continue to take steps to avoid mosquito bites.
Since the first notification of Japanese encephalitis in late February 2022, NSW Health has been working closely with local health districts and primary health networks in affected areas to coordinate vaccination efforts.
This includes working with GPs and other relevant stakeholders to ensure all those currently at highest risk of exposure to Japanese encephalitis are able to access government-funded vaccine.
People considered higher risk for exposure include workers in piggeries, animal transport, veterinarians and students working with pigs, laboratory workers handling Japanese encephalitis, entomologists and others engaging in animal and mosquito trapping for surveillance. NSW Health encourages people in these groups to talk to their GP about getting a JE vaccine.
The JE virus is spread by mosquitoes and can infect animals and humans. The virus cannot be transmitted between humans, and it cannot be caught by eating pork or other pig products.
There is no specific treatment for JE, which can cause severe neurological illness with headache, convulsions and reduced consciousness in some cases.
It’s important to avoid being bitten by mosquitos. Simple actions you can take include:
Original content from NSW Health. Note: Content has been edited for style and length.
Nina Alvarez is a Content Producer for Healthcare Channel. Her interests include writing, particularly about the healthcare sector and the many ways it can improve to further benefit people from all walks of life.