Symptoms & Treatment
- Less than 1% of people infected with Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus develop clinical illness.
- In persons who develop symptoms, the incubation period (time from infection until illness) is typically 5-15 days.
- Initial symptoms often include fever, headache, and vomiting.
- Mental status changes, neurologic symptoms, weakness, and movement disorders might develop over the next few days.
- Seizures are common, especially among children.
- No specific treatments have been found to benefit patients with JE, but hospitalization for supportive care and close observation is generally required.
- Treatment is symptomatic. Rest, fluids, and use of pain relievers and medication to reduce fever may relieve some symptoms.
- Among patients who develop encephalitis, 20% – 30% die.
- Although some symptoms improve after the acute illness, 30%-50% of survivors continue to have neurologic, cognitive, or psychiatric symptoms.
Page last reviewed: February 8, 2019