|Korean athletes participating in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang receive vaccination against Japanese encephalitis at Jincheon National Sports Village, before their departure for Indonesia.|
Sanofi Pasteur and the Korean Sport and Olympic Committee (KSOC) have vaccinated the national squad for the 2018 Asian Games held in Palembang and Jakarta, against Japanese encephalitis.
Officials vaccinated the national squad in July at the medical center in the Jincheon National Sports Village in North Chungcheong Province against one of the most dangerous infectious diseases. More than 1,000 members from the national squad, including athletes, coaches, and officials, got the vaccination, Sanofi said.
Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a single-stranded RNA virus which is closely related to West Nile and Saint Louis encephalitis viruses and spread via mosquito bites. Adults can prevent it with a single vaccination.
JE occurs mainly in Asian countries on the Pacific coast. In rare cases, it can lead to encephalitis where 20 to 30 percent of hospitalized patients die. One third can have neurological complications even after recovery.
Indonesia is a JE endemic country. The country has issued precautions to control the risk of infectious diseases such as JE and the Zika virus, according to Sanofi.
“Vaccination is recommended before visiting and staying in Indonesia, a Pacific coastal region in Asia where Japanese encephalitis is endemic,” said Bae Moon-jeong, the head medical officer of the national squad. “We believe the vaccination helps athletes manage condition well during the games by protecting them from mosquito-borne infectious diseases.”
Concerns of mosquito-borne diseases were raised in international events such as the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. For the 2018 World Cup, Sanofi also vaccinated the national soccer team against three types of infectious diseases – meningococcal disease, hepatitis A, tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis.
“Sanofi Pasteur, as a leading vaccine company, continues to raise the awareness of prevention against infectious diseases such as Japanese encephalitis, hepatitis A, the meningococcal disease in particular mass gathering events such as Asian Games,” Baptiste de Clarens, general manager of Sanofi Pasteur said. “We wish Korea’s national squad ring the bell of victory with the best health condition in 2018 Asian Games.”