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Community & Business

28 August, 2023

JEV vaccine encouraged by local pharmacy

By Emily Middleton

It hasn’t beens spoken about for a while, but that doesn’t mean it’s importance has faded. Japanese encephalitis is still a concern among communities, and is spread through bites from mosquitos, which become infected through biting infected pigs and waterbirds.

While the temperatures are cool and the mozzies are sparse, now is the best time to get vaccinated against Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), according to Gilgandra Pharmacy.

JEV is the only mosquito-borne dis- ease in NSW that is vaccine-preventable, and vaccination is recommended for those at highest risk of being infected. This includes people who spend a lot of their time outside, especially near mosquito prone areas such as lakes, rivers, and creeks.

You can get the JEV vaccine any time of year, but getting vaccinated now means you'll be giving yourself the best protection against JEV during the warmer months when the mozzies return. Most people who are fully vaccinated do not require a booster dose. To find out if you're eligible for a JEV vaccine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or other primary healthcare worker.

To protect yourself, NSW Health rec- ommends the following precautions:

• Applying and regularly reapplying an effective insect repellent on exposed skin. The best repellents contain diethyl- toluamide (DEET), picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus (always follow label directions)

• Wearing long, loose fitting clothing when outside,

• Ensuring accommodation, including tents, are properly fitted with mosquito nettings or screens,

• Using insecticide sprays, vapour dispensing units (indoors) and mosquito coils (outdoors) to clear rooms and repel mosquitoes from an area,

• Covering all windows, doors, vents and other entrances with insect screens, and

• Removing any water-holding con- tainers where mosquitoes may breed. 

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