Japanese B Encephalitis

Japanese B encephalitis is a relatively uncommon disease, even in areas where the infection is endemic. The disease is one of several caused by arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses); carried by mosquitoes of the genus Culex, this one is a member of the family Togaviridae and genus Flavivirus and thus is an RNA virus. The species of Culex that is the most common insect vector for Japanese B encephalitis is Culex tritaeniorhyncus.

The disease was first recognized and described in 1871, and the virus was first isolated in 1935. The infection may appear in epidemic or in sporadic outbreaks, and is carried particularly in swine, but also has been isolated from a variety of birds and from equine animals. The virus is distributed principally in East and Southeast Asia.

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