Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV)

Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV)

Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV) is a rare but potentially serious infection of the brain spread to humans through mosquito bites.

Vaccine eligibility - high-risk local government areas

JEV vaccine is available for anyone aged two months or older who live or routinely work in any of the high-risk local government areas (listed below) AND:

  • Regularly spend time engaging in outdoor activities that place them at risk of mosquito bites, OR
  • Are experiencing homelessness, OR
  • Are living in conditions with limited mosquito protection (e.g. tents, caravans, dwellings with no insect screens), OR
  • Are engaging in outdoor flood recovery (clean-up) efforts, including repeated professional or volunteer deployments.*

*Vaccination can be administered before arrival in flood affected areas to those from other regions deployed for recovery efforts by arrangement

Priority local government areas include: Benella, Buloke, Campaspe, Gannawarra, Greater Bendigo, Greater Shepparton, Hindmarsh, Horsham, Indigo, Loddon, Mildura, Moira, Northern Grampians, Strathbogie, Swan Hill, Towong, Wodonga, Wangaratta, West Wimmera and Yarriambiack.

To book a JEV vaccination with the City of Greater Bendigo during their Friday community clinics click here.

For JEV vaccination appointments provided by Mildura Rural City Council  click here.

For further information visit: https://www.health.vic.gov.au/infectious-diseases/japanese-encephalitis-virus#vaccination


Vaccine eligibility - no restriction to local government areas

People who work at, reside at, or have a planned non-deferable visit to a:

    • Piggery, including but not limited to farm workers and their families (including children aged two months and older) living at the piggery, transport workers, veterinarians and others involved in the care of pigs
    • Property that has been confirmed to be infected with JEV
    • Property suspected to be infected with JEV
    • Pork abattoir or pork rendering plant.

Personnel who work directly with mosquitoes through their surveillance (field or laboratory based) or control and management, and indirectly through management of vertebrate mosquito-borne disease surveillance systems (e.g. sentinel animals) such as:

    • Environmental health officers and workers (urban and remote)
    • Entomologists.

All diagnostic and research laboratory workers who may be exposed to the virus, such as persons working with JEV cultures or mosquitoes with the potential to transmit JEV, as per the Australian Immunisation Handbook.

About JEV

The virus cannot be spread from human to human, nor by eating pork.

People most at risk of JEV include those who work with or live near pigs and people who live in northern Victoria, north-west Victoria and along the Murray River.

Those living in or visiting the local government areas of Campaspe, Gannawarra, Greater Shepparton, Indigo, Loddon, Mildura, Moira, Swan Hill, Wodonga, Towong, Benalla, Wangaratta, and Strathbogie should take steps to significantly limit their exposure to mosquitoes during peak mosquito season (October-March).

There have been nine confirmed and three probable human cases of JE virus in Victoria (as of July 2022). 


Symptoms typically develop six to 16 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. 

Mild symptoms include the following: 

  • fever
  • headache

More severe symptoms can include: 

  • neck or back stiffness
  • disorientation
  • seizures
  • vomiting
  • sensitivity to light
  • convulsions

It's important to note that most JEV cases are asymptomatic, however, those with severe infection (less than one percent) may develop encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) which may lead to death or permanent disability.

Anyone experiencing symptoms, particularly if they’ve visited northern and north-west Victoria, the Murray River and its surrounds should seek urgent medical attention.


To prevent exposure to mosquitoes:

  • Wear long, loose fitting clothing outdoors
  • Use mosquito repellents containing picaridin or DEET on exposed skin
  • Limit outdoor activity, particularly if there are lots of mosquitoes about
  • Use fly sprays and plug-in repellent devices
  • Light mosquito coils in small outdoor areas
  • Remove all stagnant water around your home
  • Use insecticide-treated mosquito nets if your home doesn't have flywire screens, if sleeping in an untreated tent or sleeping in the open


There is no specific treatment for JEV. For those with symptoms, treatments such as medication are used to reduce the severity of the symptoms. In the rare case of severe infection, hospitalisation is necessary.