Nipah virus claimed seven more lives in Pabna,Rajshahi, Rajbarhi, Jhenaidah, Naogaon, Natore and Gaibandha, raising the death toll to eight so far this month. Director of the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) Prof Mahmudur Rahman said they found six people infected in Rajbarhi, Jhenaidah, Naogaon, Natore and Gaibandha. Five died of them. A mother died in Natore leaving her 8-month baby infected. Two more children are infected and under treatment at Rajshahi. A total number of 11 patients are identified. Earlier, IEDCR confirmed the death of an 8-year-old boy in Dhaka from the virus that left his father critically ill at a hospital. The father of the minor boy was still struggling at the hospital. The boy passed away on January 24, 2013 at Dhaka clinic.
The virus that infects a person only after drinking raw date sap and later can pass on to other persons through contact is a cause of public health concern in Bangladesh since 2001, as it breaks out every year during January-April. The fatality rate is nearly 80 percent while it is fully preventable if people shun the raw date sap. The virus destroyed if the sap is boiled. “The virus is killed in 70 degrees Celsius temperature,” said IEDCR. IEDCR suggests drinking boiled sap or molasses and washing hands with soap after caring patients.
It’s usually takes seven to eight days on an average between exposure and signs of symptoms. The symptoms of the infection include fever, sneezing and cough, hysteria and respiratory problems. The highly contagious virus spreads through human contact.
As of 2012, the virus has killed 136 of its 176 victims in 21 districts across Bangladesh. A team of ICDDRB on zoonotic transmittable diseases was working in Bhaluka in Mymensingh where the virus appeared to have struck this year for the first time.