[Doctor’s Advice vol.4] Infectious diseases that can be prevented with vaccinations

[Doctor’s Advice vol.4] Infectious diseases that can be prevented with vaccinations


There are various infectious diseases reported worldwide. Some of them can even lead to death. However, there are also infectious diseases that can be prevented by vaccinations. It is important to minimize the risk of infection with appropriate vaccinations.

Today, we will be hearing about “Infectious diseases that can be prevented by vaccinations” from Dr. Keiichi Hayashi from Raffles Japanese Clinic.

Japanese encephalitis

Japanese encephalitis is transmitted to the human body via pigs and mosquitos infected by the Japanese encephalitis virus. When infected, you will experience a fever, headache, dizziness, and even consciousness disorder and convulsion. If your symptom gets worse, you may have prognostics like mental disorder and dyskinesia, and even death in some cases. Once infected, there are no medicines to cure it, which makes this a very dangerous infection. Although called “Japanese” encephalitis, this disease is seen all over Asia. It is often reported in areas that grow pigs and have a lot of mosquitos around. The risk is smaller in the city area, but there has been a case of a 6-year old girl being infected in Hong-Kong, so it may be best to be cautious around Southeast Asia overall. Vaccination is available after 6 months from birth. In Japan, inactivated vaccinations are applied 4 times in total. There have been times when this vaccination was not strongly recommended, so please check your maternity health record book.


Rabies is transmitted via saliva of animals infected with the rabies virus. You can get infected not only from dogs, but also from cats, bats, and most mammals. You don’t necessarily need to get bit by the infected animal. If the animal licks your scar, that may be enough. There are no risks of rabies in Japan and Singapore, but there are risks in other Asian regions including Taiwan. It is a dangerous disease, causing death in most cases when infected. Based on the WHO guidance, vaccinations are applied 3 times in 0,721(28) days. However, when bit, you may need additional vaccinations even if you have completed the 3 beforehand, so please see a doctor immediately. Do not suck on the scar either.

Typhoid fever

Typhoid fever comes from typhoid bacillus contaminated water and foods. When infected, you will experience fever, diarrhea, and rashes. In Southeast Asia, the risk is relatively high, especially in South Asia regions. If you plan to travel to such areas, please be aware. Never consume water that isn’t boiled or unheated foods. Always remember to wash your hands. Also, try to avoid peeled fruits. It would be best if you peel them yourself.
Typhoid fever vaccination can be applied after 2 years of age. The first vaccination will build immunity, and the antibody is said to last for about 2 years. There is also a mixed vaccination that prevents hepatitis A, which is also transmitted via the mouth. If you work at a restaurant, it may be a good idea to get a vaccination if you haven’t already.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is transmitted via raw food and water that is not boiled infected with the Hepatitis A virus. It is often transmitted via foods like raw oysters and half-done oyster fries. This is reported in Japan as well, regardless of strict sanitary management. When infected, there will be a 4-week latency period, followed by fevers, dullness, and nausea, then jaundice after a few days. Although death cases are rare, it will require you to be in the hospital for a month, and another few months for you to fully get back to your normal state. Usually, symptoms are less severe when a child catches it, compared to an adult. Hepatitis A vaccinations must be applied twice (3 times in Japan). It can be applied after 1 year of age. There is also a mixed vaccination to prevent both Hepatitis A and B (3 times in total).

Hepatitis B

The Hepatitis B virus is transmitted via blood and body fluids. Blood transfusions, unprotected sex, or unsanitary tattoos/piercing can lead to infections. It may cause acute hepatitis, but it may also lead to chronic hepatitis, which can ultimately result in cirrhosis or liver cancer. Hepatitis B vaccinations are applied periodically from birth in 180 countries worldwide, including North Korea. There have been cases of group infection at a nursery in Japan, so we highly recommend that you get your child vaccinated right after birth.

Rubella (German measles)

You will experience fever, rash, and swelling of lymph nodes. The rubella virus is transmitted via coughs and sneezes. It is said that adults experience a more severe symptom than a child. Furthermore, if a pregnant woman who is not immune to the virus is infected, it may lead to congenital rubella syndrome such as hearing disabilities or hear diseases. It is not often reported in developed nations, but there has been an epidemic in Japan since last year. If you plan to visit Japan in the near future, we recommend you get vaccinated for rubella. It can be applied after 1 year of age. Twice is recommended.

If you have questions about how to apply for each vaccination or vaccination intervals, please consult a medical facility near you with your maternity health record book.

Information provided by

Raffles Japanese Clinic
Doctor Keiichi Hayashi

ph_ooiWriter:Ayumi Ooi
Editor in chief http://singapore.keizai.biz/


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