Japanese encephalitis: a review of the Indian perspective

Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) causes Japanese encephalitis, which is a leading form of viral encephalitis in Asia, with around 50,000 cases and 10,000 deaths per year in children below 15 years of age. The JEV has shown a tendency to extend to other geographic regions. Case fatality averages 30% and a high percentage of the survivors are left with permanent neuropsychiatric sequelae. Currently, there is no cure for JEV, and treatment is mainly supportive. Patients are not infectious, but should avoid further mosquito bites. A number of antiviral agents have been investigated; however, none of these have convincingly been shown to improve the outcome of JEV. In this review, the current knowledge of the epidemiology and the pathogenesis of this deadly disease have been summarized.