Sunday, February 6, 2011

Nipah virus in Bangladesh

Nipah virus has killed 14 people in Lalmonirhat, Bangladesh. Bats are the reservoir for nipah virus, part of the paramyxo family. It is contracted by humans who ingest bat saliva or droppings, usually in fruit or juice. However, it can then be transmitted through person-to-person contact and is very infectious.

Nipah virus is currently only found in Bangledesh. Cases occur annually between the months of December and January. The fatality rate of the disease usually ranges from 40-70%. Since its discovery in 2008, 477 people have been infected and 252 have been killed. The infection causes encephalitis, which is fatal. There is no vaccine or specific treatment for the disease. There are preventative measures that can be taken. Removing habitat for bats, avoiding partially eaten fruits, and not drinking raw juice. This information is being slowly disseminated, but it is the best response to Nipah virus currently.


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