A 60-year-old man from Victoria has died from a rare virus that was contracted by a mosquito in Thailand.
After returning back to Australia from a 10-day holiday in Phuket, the Victorian was admitted to hospital and later diagnosed with Japanese Encephalitis, which later cost him his life.
Japanese Encephalitis is a mosquito borne infection prevalent in rural Asia that once transmitted can cause severe brain inflammation, damage and death.
Early symptoms of Japanese encephalitis include headaches, vomiting, and disorientation all of which appear between five to 10 days following infection.
Royal Melbourne Hospital doctor Steven Tong told the ABC that “Most figures suggest that for travellers to endemic areas such as Thailand, the risk is probably in the order of one in a million to one in 500,000 travellers to those areas that will get Japanese encephalitis.”
The virus is so rare that this is believed to be just the 10th recorded case in Australian medical history.
There are currently two preventative vaccines available in Australia and doctors are still trying to determine exactly where in Phuket that infection took place.