10 persons died of Nipah virus in Bangladesh this year: IEDCR
This year (till March), 14 people have been infected with Nipah virus around the country. of them, 10 of the affected people have died. The death rate is 71.42 percent, the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) said today.
This information was presented today at a meeting titled "Awareness meeting on spread and risk of Nipah viruses" organised by IEDCR, with the technical support of International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research (icddr,b).
Director of IEDCR Prof Dr Tahmina Shireen gave a presentation titled "Nipah virus spread and risks at the meeting".
She said, "Nipah is a deadly virus. The disease is transmitted to humans from bats. The infection was first detected in Malaysia in 1998."
Tahmina Shireen said 339 patients have been identified, of which 240 patients have died since 2001. In Bangladesh, the outbreak of this disease is seen from December to May.
The Nipah virus is usually contracted by drinking the raw date juice.
She said, the first outbreak of Nipah virus in Bangladesh was identified in Meherpur district in 2001. Since then, the outbreak is observed in Bangladesh almost every year.
The mortality rate of patients with this disease is about 70 percent.
Since 2006, IEDCR and icddr,b have been conducting Nipah surveillance programmes periodically in eight medical college hospitals to assess the spread and risk of Nipah virus in Bangladesh. Nipah surveillance programme has started in two more medical college hospitals from this year, she added.
Nipah virus transmission has recently occurred in Kerala, India. From 2001 to 2023, 101 people were infected in India, of whom 74 died, she added.
She urged everyone not to drink raw date palm sap because it is still unsafe. She advised to wash fruits well before eating them.
IEDCR advisor Mushtaq Hossain, Nipah surveillance programme coordinator Dr Sharmin Sultana, National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine director Meerjady Sabrina Flora were also present at the meeting.