The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) has found presence of Nipah virus in one of the five family members who died in Baliadangi upazila of Thakurgaon early February.
“Samples of one of the deceased were collected, and investigators detected presence of Nipah virus there,” said IEDCR Director Meerjady Sabrina Flora in a statement yesterday.
IEDCR formed two committees, which conducted investigations at Baliadangi Upazila Health Complex, Thakurgaon Sadar Hospital, Rangpur Medical College Hospital and various places of Baliadangi upazila between February 25 and March 1.
During the time, investigators also collected samples of hospital doctors, nurses, health workers and family members of the victims, neighbours and villagers.
The investigation found that those who died had fever, headache, vomiting, and infection. Nipah virus was not found in samples of living persons of the family.
“In the investigation, it was not known if the deceased had a history of drinking raw date palm sap (a popular drink), but the investigators think four of the victims were infected by Nipah virus from the other,” said the IEDCR statement.
Nipah virus generally transmits through drinking date palm sap infected by bats carrying the virus.
Meerjady has advised all not to drink raw date sap.
If anyone is infected by Nipah virus, health personnel and family members should use masks and gloves when they take care of the patients, and wash hands with soap afterwards. The patients should be kept in isolated environment, she said.