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Nipah virus claims 17 lives in Bangladesh Print E-mail
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เสาร์, 26 กุมภาพันธ์ 2011

Updated: 2011-02-10 17:30:00


DHAKA, February 10 (Xinhua) -- Outbreak of the deadly Nipah virus has claimed so far 17 lives in Bangladesh's Lalmonirhat district, some 343 km northwest of capital Dhaka, a health official said Thursday.

Mahmudur Raman, head of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), told Xinhua Thursday, "from February 2011, Nipah outbreak occurred in Hatibandha sub-district under Lalmonirhat district. As of today, there are 24 cases and 17 deaths."

Rahman said the disease is referred to as encephalitis and leads to inflammations in an affected person's brain. The virus spreads through consumption of date palm juices or fruits half- eaten by infected fruit bats, he said.

The spread of Nipah virus in Lalmonirhat appears under control for the time being as there is no report of fresh infection, Rahman said.

According to experts, the virus spreads in Bangladesh mostly during the period between December and April, when jars are fixed to date palm trees, to collect juice. The virus spreads when infected bats perch on the jars and leave saliva and droppings, containing the deadly virus, into the juice.

Scientists at the IEDCR have advised against drinking unprocessed date extracts, to prevent the spread of the disease, which has a 75 percent mortality rate. The virus enters the human body when someone drinks contaminated date palm juice and is then freely transmitted among human beings. 

According to the IEDCR, the virus claimed 113 lives between 2001 and January 2011. The most severe outbreak was in 2004, it said.


Last Updated ( เสาร์, 26 กุมภาพันธ์ 2011 )
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