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Deadly mosquitoes? 2013/4/21 05:08
My friend who is quite a worrybitch (sorry for the expression) said to me that there are really dangerous mosquitoes in Japan during summer that can give you encephalitis from just a bite and kill you. This sounds terrible so I had to check this out with you guys who are more familiar with this.

I tried to find out more about this. It says it is a risk if you visit rural areas in south Japan (that meaning Osaka, Kyushu?). So if I see or get bitten by a mosquito around there should I run for my life and call a doctor? Or would I need a thousand bites to be infected?

It's not like I want to be afraid of visiting certain areas in Japan. I want to go to Ibusuki and Kagoshima volcano, which might be rural, and they are in south Japan I assume, but perhaps I should stay away from there?

Should any mosquitoes be considered infectious or is this just humbug?

They say there is a vaccine but it is way too late for that now, though they say the vaccine itself could give bad sideeffects...

Sorry if I seem a bit worried but my friend have frightened me to death. I don't want to feel like I might come home in a coffin just by visiting a rural area in southern Japan for a few hours.

Yes I could use some bug spray but I don't want to bother about putting that on every day. Couldn't be too healthy putting that on your skin everyday.
by Lisa M (guest)  

Re: Deadly mosquitoes? 2013/4/21 10:31
I grew up in the middle of rice fields in Kyushu & visit often there still and have had enough share of mosquito bites in my life. But nobody I know have had any problem or had vaccines. It is so rare that we don't worry about it at all.
But if you are still so worried, google search.
by amazinga (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Deadly mosquitoes? 2013/4/21 11:48
Deadly mosquitoes...
maybe it's {](Nihon-nouen), I think?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_encephalitis
I don't know persons who are afraid of it, but I have herad that mosquitoes carry it.
by ajapaneseboy rate this post as useful

Re: Deadly mosquitoes? 2013/4/21 21:55
Well what my friend said the mosquitoes carry it. It's a bit late for a vaccine however. My friend has really scared me to death now...

Since it comes from mosquitoes it seems impossible to protect myself from this disease. It would feel like a lottery, any mosquito could bite me and some days later I would be found dead.

I dont want to be deadly frightened by mosquitoes. I have a hard time with them at home, they seem to stick to me like glue when they finally appear.

It's not like I will sleep in a rural area but I might visit and I will be in Japan for roughly 5 weeks.
by Lisa M (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Deadly mosquitoes? 2013/4/21 22:15
What country do you live in now and which countries have you visited in the past?

JE has spread virtually all over the planet.
If you haven't been exposed to JE yet then the odds are about the same for exposure in Japan.

Australia has JE.
Europe has JE.
The Middle East has JE.
The whole of The Americas has JE.

Hot spots for larger incidence of JE infection are between continental Asia and Papua.

The USA and Japan have almost identical infection rates.
by Tenmangu (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Deadly mosquitoes? 2013/4/21 22:19
Tell your friend who is quite a worrybitch she should consider getting a JEV jab herself if she lives outside either of the polar circles.
by Tenmangu (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Deadly mosquitoes? 2013/4/21 22:21
amazinga, I'm pretty sure the OP is talking about Japanese encephalitis ({]), and I'd be surprised if you weren't vaccinated against it as a child if you grew up here since it is currently on the list of compulsory vaccines for children.

Having said that, the chances of you contracting J Encephalitis while here, OP, are absolutely minuscule to non-existent. I've lived here more than 10 years and have never heard of anyone I know contracting it in that time, I certainly haven't had it, and mosquitoes here love me, I get bitten constantly during summer.

You can ask your doctor about the J. Encephalitis vaccine if you like, and it will have time to become effective if you have it soon, but statistically you are probably more likely to be hit by a bus than to catch encephalitis.
by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Deadly mosquitoes? 2013/4/22 00:01
Sira,
Of course I know what it is all about.
Have you gotten the shot? Do you know anybody gotten the shot? As far as I know no natives ever gets the shot. If the OP is so worried, instead of posting here, he can do the research & decide on his own. He should be more worried about a lightening strikes him or a car accident or winning a lottery.
by amazinga (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Deadly mosquitoes? 2013/4/22 09:53
I live in a rural area and get bit every summer (though I used to live in Florida, so I really don't get bit at all compared to that!). I have never heard of this being a problem. My advice is not to worry about it, you'll be fine. Take care when crossing the street instead. :)
by Harimogura (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Deadly mosquitoes? 2013/4/22 10:17
I haven't heard of a single case of it.
It seems to be extremely rare. I wouldn't worry about it at all.

There are other insects people should worry about instead: http://zoomingjapan.com/life-in-japan/insects-and-other-pests/
by zoomingjapan rate this post as useful

Re: Deadly mosquitoes? 2013/4/22 10:25
Amazinga,

Have you gotten the shot?

I got the vaccine before I first moved to Japan almost a decade ago. I didn't experience any side effects.

Do you know anybody gotten the shot? As far as I know no natives ever gets the shot.

Its on the vaccine schedule in Japan, so essentially every Japanese person in the last few decade have been vaccinated. You probably aren't aware, but if you were born in Japan sometime in the last 50 years or so you may also have been vaccinated.

If the OP is so worried, instead of posting here, he can do the research & decide on his own.

Posting here is a type of research, and hopefully the OP will be able to get some good leads. Of course the OP should consult her doctor, but since she is in the situation where it is too late for her to get the vaccine, she needs to know the implications of not having the received the shots.

The general advice (by the CDC no less) is that you shouldn't need to worry about it unless you will be staying for more than a month in rural Japan, which in this case is more the subtropical areas and islands rather than Kyushu and certainly not highly urbanized areas like Osaka.

Basically the risk is extremely low, and if you are that worried you should protect yourself with bug spray and by covering up exposed skin.

Here's some more info:

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5901a1.htm
http://www.japan-guide.com/forum/quereadisplay.html?0+100002
http://www.japan-guide.com/forum/quereadisplay.html?0+73944
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Re: Deadly mosquitoes? 2013/4/22 22:44
First off, I am a she, not a he.

Anyway. I have already consulted the doctor about vaccine and he said that I would not need it if I were not going to be working at a farm for several weeks. Some other say I need it if I stay in Japan (anywhere) more than three weeks, just not in the rural areas but in Japan overall.

Again, the doctor said I would be fine the way I am and I trusted him so I haven't got any shots. So please do not blame me for not having them.

Then my friend came to me said she heard of several incidents and called me an idiot not having a shot, so it makes me feel even more a fool asking for help here and I appear like I have done the biggest mistake in my life.

According to the links to the forum posts it say it is a risk only if I travel in southern areas (Kyushu I suppose, Kansai too?) during more than 30 days. So I am quite confused there. Is it just statistics or will it take more than one mosquito to infect me?

I know there are bigger threats in the world but since my friend blew this up in front of my face then I got really frightened since I will be in Japan for 5 weeks, though I will only be sleeping in in big cities I might go to sidetrips every day to areas that can be rural. Though I am unsure what rural really means, like the Ise shrines, smaller mountainous villages, or distant walking trails.

I am not going to any farms or sleeping in other places than big cities. Side trips might be to "rural areas", but then again, it feels a mosquito could bite me as my friend say even if I just go remote for a day and come back.
by Lisa M (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Deadly mosquitoes? 2013/4/23 02:25
First off, I am a she, not a he.

Sorry, I assumed you were female from your username, plus from your writing the gender guesser predicts 'weak female' (or european) ;)

Anyway. I have already consulted the doctor about vaccine and he said that I would not need it if I were not going to be working at a farm for several weeks.

Yes, that would be the expected response from a doctor.

Some other say I need it if I stay in Japan (anywhere) more than three weeks, just not in the rural areas but in Japan overall.

Is that the opinion of a medical professional?

Again, the doctor said I would be fine the way I am and I trusted him so I haven't got any shots. So please do not blame me for not having them.

No one is blaming you for not getting it. Virtually everyone agrees its probably not necessary, and are instead trying to talk you down from the ledge.

Then my friend came to me said she heard of several incidents and called me an idiot not having a shot, so it makes me feel even more a fool asking for help here and I appear like I have done the biggest mistake in my life.

Don't feel foolish. Its a good question (and a common one on this forum). Frankly your friend sounds way to hyperbolic and is just stressing you out needlessly.

According to the links to the forum posts it say it is a risk only if I travel in southern areas (Kyushu I suppose, Kansai too?) during more than 30 days.

I don't believe either are particularly high risk areas, especially if you stay away from pig farms (which are pretty hard to find anyway). Southern is more like the Okinawa Islands. Either way, your itinerary doesn't put you in high risk areas for appreciable lengths of time.

I am not going to any farms or sleeping in other places than big cities. Side trips might be to "rural areas", but then again, it feels a mosquito could bite me as my friend say even if I just go remote for a day and come back.

Don't let this freak you out too much, but there is a good chance that you will get bitten by a mosquito regardless of where you go in Japan in summer. But rather than a death sentence, it'll just be a nuisance and itch like crazy.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Re: Deadly mosquitoes? 2013/4/23 03:43
The best think you can do to protect yourself is to stop talking to your so-called friend. She is very dangerous.

As the saying goes.."better an intelligent enemy that a stupid friend"

And do try to be a lot more realistic...a huge number of tourists visit Japan, haven't been vaccinated and don't have a problem.
by Red frog (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Deadly mosquitoes? 2013/4/23 06:43
Thanks for the answers. I think my friend might be jealous, just a guess. She has been a bit wierd since I told her I will go there.

Anyway. I have been looking through google some more. Several vaccinationcompanies say it will only be needed to have a vaccine if staying at the countryside for some weeks while some add if you stay for more than a month in the country. Well again I dont know what they get this info from, like statistics or so on.

As I said I could get bitten on a sidettip and be infected, or perhaps I will need thousands of bites to be infected (hence the info that you need to be on the countryside for weeks).

I amstill a bit frightened but trying to calm myself somehow, hence the questions.
by Lisa M (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Deadly mosquitoes? 2013/4/23 08:16
Lisa M (guest),

You should only take medical advice from doctors not from companies that produce pharmaceuticals. Their chief aim is to sell something and they will tell consumers they require this or that whatever the case may be.

You're probably right that your friend's promoting fear because she's jealous but please refrain from using gendered insults like "worryb----" in future as it is neither respectful nor of any value to the discussion.
by seriously? (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Deadly mosquitoes? 2013/4/25 01:15
seriously?,

I hope your name is not for mocking. I was just asking for help. If I offended someone by using that word then I am sorry, I could not find any other word at the time of writing.

Anyway, back to the subject. I have not had any shot. And it is no time of it (unless there are any quick vaccines of course). Are there any areas I should avoid? I do not know what counts as rural, like the Ise shrine and so on or more like villages, but I definitly want to visit the Ise shrine. And I might want to visit Nikko too but maybe that is too rural.

If a single mosquito could infect me then the chance is still there, it could come to places like big cities aswell, I dont know.
by Lisa M (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Deadly mosquitoes? 2013/4/25 02:01
Lisa to be honest I think you are over thinking things too much. I understand the worry, I felt the same when I went to China and was scedualed to visit the country side there. I only had a flu shot and regular sceduale shots before my trip to China and Japan in the beginning of the summer and I was ok.

I really think your friend might have been jealous or has never traveled outside of the country to have said that to you.

You should be fine in Japan if your doctor had no worries about the areas you were visiting. Don't look too much into the info stated on the internet because that can give you even more reasons not to travel to other countires than just an extra shot.

Have fun on your trip and try not to over worry. I was in China and Japan over a month and didn't get sick with again only a flu shot and regular shots :) you should be safe during your travels.

Have fun!
by xbutterxcupx (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Deadly mosquitoes? 2013/4/25 05:13
Thank you. I wish I could do stop worrying. I was no worried before but when she said this all fell like a rock. I do trust my doctor (who refers to a webpage however) but when I read info on Japan that says all different things like risk is high and some say there is no risk other than if you live at a farm, then I did not know which to believe. Official non profit sites say different things too.

I will bring a repellent however. Though I am unsure how to effectively use them (sprays I think of). I have had mosquitoes bite me in the face so many times but spraying in your face seems bad.
by Lisa M (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Deadly mosquitoes? 2013/4/25 09:59
Lisa M (guest),

No insult was intended with my name as this is the name I've always used on this site.

No problem. Just be conscious of the implications of using such terminology when contributing to a forum used not only by men but by women and by children. Given the amount of unnecessary worrying you've allowed yourself before your holiday it's almost ironic that you should label your friend this way anyway.
by seriously? (guest) rate this post as useful

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