An outbreak of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) and Japanese encephalitis (JE) has been reported from Assam state in northern India.
The two infections have resulted in 305 deaths thus far in 2014; the majority (212) have been related to AES, with 93 related to JE. In 2014, 1286 cases of AES and 488 case of JE have been recorded in Assam.
The worst affected districts of Lower Assam include: Sonitpur, Barpeta, Nalbari, Darrang, Kamrup (Rural), and Kamrup (Metro), while in the Upper Assam Tinsukia, North Lakhimpur, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Dhemaji, and Golaghat.
Fogging is being carried out in the at risk areas of 24 out of the 27 districts of the state and vaccines against JE are being provided.
Advice for Travellers
Japanese encephalitis vaccine is sometimes recommended for travellers to risk areas of India, particularly during the high risk season. Bite avoidance measures are also recommended.
Travellers should also maintain a high standard of food, water and personal hygiene as acute encephalitis syndrome may be caused by enteroviruses.