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Japanese encephalitis in Australia: 32 human cases reported to date




In a follow-up on the human  Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) situation in Australia, the Department of Health now reports 32 human cases of JEV in Australia.

Image/Peggy_Marco

The breakdown of cases is as follows: 20 have been confirmed with definitive laboratory evidence in four states: New South Wales (8), Queensland (2), South Australia (3) and Victoria (7).

In addition, 12 are probable cases where the person has been linked epidemiologically and/or has symptoms of the disease and has laboratory suggestive evidence: Queensland (2), South Australia (5), Victoria (4) and NSW (1).

Three deaths have been reported–One in New South Wales, one in South Australia and one in Victoria.

On 4 March 2022, Australia’s Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Sonya Bennett, declared the Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) situation a Communicable Disease Incident of National Significance.

A national working group of communicable disease, vaccine and arbovirus experts has been established.

The working group will support Australia’s response to the JEV situation. This will include:

  • mosquito surveillance and control measures
  • identification of those at direct risk, and for the rollout of vaccines.

Public health communications regarding mosquito protection will target affected communities.

JEV is a nationally notifiable disease in both humans and animals.

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