Japanese Encephalitis is an infection of the brain caused by a virus. The virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes (culex). It is a severe viral disease, which can affect CNS and cause severe complications and death.
The virus that causes Japanese encephalitis is called an arboivirus, which is an arthropod-borne virus. Mosquitoes are a type of arthropod. Mosquitoes in a number of regions carry this virus and are responsible for passing it along to humans. As the virus that causes Japanese encephalitis is carried by mosquitoes, the number of people infected increases during those seasons when mosquitoes are abundant. This tends to be in the warmest, rainiest months. In addition to humans, other animals like wild birds, pigs and horses are susceptible to infection with this arbovirus. Because the specific type of mosquito carrying the Japanese encephalitis arbovirus frequently breeds in rice paddies, ponds, pools, ditches, etc, the disease is considered to be primarily rural problems. Only the culex mosquitoes can transmit the Japanese encephalitis viruses and they bite between dawn and dusk. Culex mosquitoes prefer pig rather than human blood, and JE virus multiplies in pig’s body.