The number of fatalities from Japanese encephalitis is estimated to be between 13,600 and 20,400 a year.
Japanese encephalitis is a mosquito-borne viral infection. It is the leading cause of viral encephalitis in Asia. Humans can get the disease when they are bitten by a mosquito that carries the virus. Japanese encephalitis virus cannot be transmitted from one person to another.
When mosquitoes infect an animal, the animal can become a carrier of the virus. When other mosquitos feed on these newly infected animals, they take up the virus and can go on to infect other animals or humans.
People in rural areas where the virus is common are at highest risk. Japanese encephalitis does not usually happen around towns and cities.
It is more likely to affect children, because adults in areas where it is endemic generally become immune as they get older.
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