Reducing the risk of people being infected

JEV is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. Queenslanders, particularly those working with pigs, including feral pigs, are encouraged to take the necessary steps to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes.

To protect yourself:

  • wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirt with long pants, and covered shoes
  • use repellents that contain diethyltoluamide (DEET) or picaridin
  • apply insect repellent on all exposed skin
  • read the repellent label for reapplication times and re-apply accordingly
  • consider using plug-in repellents and insect sprays.

Commercial piggeries can take additional steps to minimise the risk of infection in people by protecting workers, service providers and others at the property. This may include:

  • ensuring accommodation, including tents, are properly fitted with mosquito nettings or screens
  • considering using insecticide sprays, vapour dispensing units (indoors) and mosquito coils (outdoors)
  • avoiding contact with bodily fluids and tissues of potentially infected animals. If this is not possible, ensure appropriate handling of potentially contaminated animals and use appropriate personal protective equipment such as masks, eye protection and gloves
  • removing any standing water or water-holding containers on your property where mosquitoes could breed, wherever possible.

The Communicable Disease Network Australia has prioritised vaccination for people at a high-risk of exposure to JEV and recommends vaccination for some travellers.

If you have human health concerns, you should seek medical advice. Contact your general practitioner, local hospital emergency department or local public health unit, if you are concerned about possible Japanese encephalitis infection in people. Direct your general enquiries about Japanese encephalitis infection in people to Queensland Health on 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84). Read Queensland Health information about Japanese encephalitis and people.

For information about managing the risk of Japanese encephalitis in the workplace, contact Workplace Health and Safety Queensland on 1300 362 128.

Also consider...