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21 March 2023

Business Insider Bangladesh

Nipah virus breaks out in 28 districts in country: DGHS

BI Report || BusinessInsider

Published: 12:02, 3 February 2023  
Nipah virus breaks out in 28 districts in country: DGHS

Photo: Collected

The Directorate General of Health Service (DGHS) has claimed to have traced the outbreak of Nipah virus, a bat-borne virus, in 28 districts of Bangladesh.

Sensing danger, the health department has asked the authorities of the Covid-19 Hospital in Mohakhali to keep its isolation ward with 10 beds equipped with ICU facilities to face any possible pressure of the Nipah virus case, according to a source of the hospital.

Earlier on January 29, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said five of the eight people infected with the Nipah virus have died in the country this year

Claiming that the casualty rate of the virus is 70 percent, Maleque said the health department has so far received eight patients this year and of them, five have died after drinking raw date juice.

He also called upon the people to avoid drinking raw date juice and to avoid consuming dates that are half-eaten by birds.

The health officials suspect that people were sickened after drinking raw date juice, which can be contaminated by the saliva or feces from bats that carry the virus and feed on the date juice.

Over the past 6 years, Bangladesh reported just a few Nipah virus infections annually. For example, in 2022 the country reported three cases.

There are no treatments or vaccines for the Nipah virus, which often causes severe or fatal infections that involve respiratory problems or encephalitis.

The World Health Organization and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) have designated the Nipah virus a high-priority pathogen, due to its pandemic and bioterrorism potential.