JE virus is transmitted to humans primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes acquire the virus from infected hosts (e.g., pigs and wild birds) and then transmit the virus to non-infected hosts (e.g., humans and horses).
A traveller’s risk for acquiring JE is determined by multiple factors, including immunization status, use of protective measures against mosquito bites, location of travel, duration of exposure, season, and activities while travelling. The risk for acquiring JE is low for most travellers, particularly for short-term visitors to major urban areas. Greater risk exists for travellers who are:
- visiting rural agricultural areas associated with rice production and flooding irrigation;
- staying for a long time; and
- participating in outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, cycling or fieldwork, especially during the evening or night.
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Source : Public Health Agency of Canada