Friday, 24 March, 2023

Nipah virus may turn alarming

  • Mohammad Al Amin
  • 6 February, 2023 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Nipah virus may turn alarming

The country is facing a risk of a massive outbreak of the deadly Nipah virus infection as sales of raw date juice are continuing unabated in different places.

Nipah virus has already spread to 33 districts. The trend in the viral infection is alarming and hints at a massive outbreak, the IEDCR said.

“Already 10 people with Nipah virus infection have been reported and seven of them died,” IEDCR Director Prof Dr Tahmina Shirin told the Daily Sun

on Sunday.

She said Nipah infection cases have been detected in six districts – Pabna, Rajbari, Rajshahi, Naogaon, Natore and Shariatpur.

Many NIpah-infected patients are taking treatment and some of them are not confirmed cases yet, sources said.

According to the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control And Research (IEDCR), the fatality rate from Nipah virus infection has already crossed 70 percent in the country.

It also said at least 337 Nipah virus infection cases have been reported in the country while 236 of them died from the virus infection since 2001.

The raw date juice contaminated with infected bat saliva, urine or stool matters enter the body when someone drinks raw juice. But, the virus gets destroyed if the juice is boiled. Half-eaten fruits by bat may also carry this virus.

“Nipah virus is a risky infectious disease. We have to be alert to the danger of the virus during this winter and have to avoid drinking of raw date juice,” Prof Dr Tahmina Shirin added.

The IEDCR said the number of Nipah virus infection cases has crossed eighth-year high in the country.   Three Nipah virus cases were reported and two of them died in 2022, two infection cases were reported but no death from the disease is reported in 2021, seven infection cases are reported and five deaths in 2020, eight infection cases and seven deaths are reported in 2019, it added.

After increasing the number of death and infection cases from the Nipah virus, the government has started campaign to make people aware of the virus.

The health ministry also has asked the authorities to keep Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Covid-19 dedicated hospital prepared for Nipah patients.

The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) recently issued a letter, asking the hospital authorities to prepare 10 beds in the isolation ward and 10 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds.

On January 29, health and family welfare minister Zahid Maleque said Nipah virus-infected people can transmit the disease, which is a great concern.

Urging people not to drink raw date juice, he said people should also avoid eating fruits that have been eaten in half by birds or bats.

Meanwhile, ignoring the government’s alert and campaign against drinking of raw date juice, sales of the raw date juice is continuing unabated in different places of the country.

Visiting different markets in Dhaka city, it has been seen that raw date juice is being sold and many people are drinking by buying it.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said Nipah virus infection is transmitted to people from animals, and can also be transmitted through contaminated food or directly from person to person.

In infected people, it causes a range of illnesses from asymptomatic (subclinical) infection to acute respiratory illness and fatal encephalitis.