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Monsoon Season will Bring Japanese Encephalitis
Date:6/16/2009

BALTIMORE, June 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2009 monsoon season will soon arrive in the Asian territories and culicine mosquito populations are expected to increase. "These mosquitoes may carry the virus that causes Japanese Encephalitis (JE), which kills 10-15,000 people each year," warned Fran Lessans, CEO of Passport Health, the largest provider of travel medical services in the U.S. A new vaccine called Ixiaro(R) has been approved by the FDA, and is ready for distribution in the United States. Some Passport Health's offices will have both JE-VAX(R) and Ixiaro(R) until JE-VAX(R) is phased out. "The new vaccine is good for adults over 18 so we still have to use JE-VAX(R) for the younger population," concluded Lessans. Both vaccines protect against JE.

Monsoons flood areas with fresh rain water and this attracts culicine mosquitoes which may carry the virus that causes Japanese Encephalitis. 30,000-50,000 people are infected each year. An educational video is available here ( http://www.passporthealthusa.com/vaccines/home.Japanese-Encephalitis.html#jevideo ).

China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Thailand have seen epidemics of Japanese Encephalitis. The CDC explains that the disease is controlled primarily by vaccination in these areas. "Vaccination is the best prevention for this potentially deadly disease," cautioned Lessans, whose clients' number one travel destination is India, followed by China. "JE is endemic in northeastern India and we see outbreaks in China as well."

The new JE vaccine is given in a 2-shot series, 28 days apart, while JE-VAX(R) requires 3 doses. The FDA has approved the new vaccine and it is already available at some Pass
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SOURCE Passport Health
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