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Japanese Encephalitis: The facts without the fear mongering


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With the Victorian state Department of Health announcing the death of a man aged in his sixties from Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV) and the Australian chief medical officer declaring JEV a nationally significant communicable disease incident, it is right to think the Australian media is about to break out the fear mongering again and create a mass psychosis episode across the country.

Now let us just stop, take a deep breath, and take a deep dive into what JEV is and what the real risk is.

1.            It is not a communicable disease and the fact that the Australian chief medical officer declared it one makes no sense at all. A communicable disease is a disease that is capable of spreading among (let’s put that word in bold) people through the air, blood, and bodily fluids.

It cannot spread among the people, it is spread when an infected mosquito bites a human, that is it, there is no other modes of transmission. It is not airborne, it cannot be sexually transmitted, and it cannot be transmitted by coming in contact with the blood of another human, therefore it cannot spread among people and does not meet the diagnostic criteria for a communicable disease.

2.            Next, if you are unlucky enough to be bitten by an infectious mosquito then most JEV infections are mild (fever and headache or no symptoms at all). On average only one out of 250 infections result in severe clinical illness according to the World Health Organisation. So that means, just 0.25% of people who get the illness have severe illness.

3.            JEV has been around across the world for over a century and averages just 68,000 cases worldwide with around 13,600 to 20,400 deaths per year according to the World Health Organisation. Now that sounds like a large number of deaths, but it is not really. According to data from the world life expectancy database that collate data from the World Health Organisation, World Bank, UNESCO, CDC, and NIH as well as individual country databases for global health, collating the causes of deaths. What you will find is things we have learned to live with are much more common and deadly without causing a stir in the media.

Here is a list of a few virus-related deaths;

Influenza and Pneumonia: 2,947,050 deaths per year

Diarrheal Diseases: 1,382,508 deaths per year

Tuberculosis: 1,292,603 deaths per year

HIV/AIDS: 1,011,748 deaths per year

Malaria: 446,446 deaths per year

Hepatitis B: 110,570 deaths per year

Syphilis: 95,542 deaths per year

Measles: 90.945 deaths per year

Dengue: 40,365 deaths per year

It is important we look at the real facts before we all start to panic over this disease, we live in a world full of viruses, bacteria, and fungus. Add to that accidents, cancer, and diseases and it can become a scary world. But it is part of life, and we need to move on. Being informed is important, but you want to be informed with the factual information, not the fear mongering that comes out of the mainstream media.

Is Australia seeing more cases of JEV, yes but it is a ridiculously small number, nine to date and it cannot be spread from human to human. So, this is not going to be some huge outbreak. It is time to look at the facts, do not fear and be sensible.

Yes, we have had a lot of rain and mosquitoes are everywhere. So put up a mozzie zapper out the back, use citronella if you want to. Nothing wrong with taking sensible steps, there steps you would take without the disease around anyway because no one enjoys an itchy lump. Let us not blow this out of proportion, you know we have a habit of that.



  1. Great article – thanks for trying to anchor the burgeoning panic-narrative in some factual calm! FYI, grammatical typo in the use of “there” in the second last sentence. Pretty sure you meant “they’re” 😉

    • When you are bitten by a mosquito infected with Japanese Encephalitis Virus you may develop mild or no symptoms if you end up developing swelling in the brain ‘Encephalitis’ (One out of 250) then you are in that higher risk bracket of a severe outcome. So 0.25% of those infected with the virus will go on to develop the Encephalitis, and yes if you get to that stage it’s very dangerous. But the chance is extremely slim, just if you develop Menigicocal disease your risk of death is high.

  2. Here we have yet another “ medical expert “ telling a lie. Peter has cried “ wolf “ too often now that no-one is listening! Pfizer was ordered by the court to release data on the jab. Of course, the jab injuries occurring now have been known to them all along & the “ medical experts “ said it was safe. Lol 🤮 My question is ; the Encephalitis listed on Pfizer’s report , as an injury, the same as JEV ??


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