Take preventive measures from the deadliest Nipah Virus

BTJ Desk Report
Take preventive measures from the deadliest Nipah Virus

Do not drink raw date juices: Time to be alert

According to local media from Rajshahi, it was known that In recent days, a seven year old boy died in Nipah Virus. This boy was the second victim that died from the virus in Rajshahi Medical College Hospital in January, 2023. It was reported that the seven year old boy drank raw date juice just before two days of his death. Additionally, 3 reported in Naogaon and Rajbari district due to the same reason.

Since 2001 till 2022, there were 325 Nipah virus cases were reported in Bangladesh, based on the report from Institute of Epidemiology disease control and research (IEDCR). Out of 325 cases, 230 faced fatality and the percentage stood at 70% fatality rate which is pretty much alarming.

Emily Gurley, a scientist and researcher working in John Hopkins Bloomberg School of public health, described “Nipah virus is one of the deadliest viruses, which can kill up to 90% of those infected. In fact, the World Health Organization has placed Nipah virus on its 10 ‘most wanted’ list of emerging virus.

Nipah Virus (NiV) is a zoonotic virus meaning it can spread between animals and human being. This virus is seen in bats and ill pigs. Nipah virus was seen primarily in Bangladesh and India.

Currently there are no licensed treatments available for Nipah Virus (NiV) thus prevention will be the best method to keep it away. Since the fatality rate is so high, we must take precautions. In Bangladesh it is highly associated with drinking of raw date juices as raw date juice is a favorite drink for the bats. It is highly recommended not to drink raw date juices. In winter, Bangladeshi people are fond of drinking raw date juices and people make a lot of local cakes and sweets from these date juices. Though it is okay to eat ‘Gur’ which are made from raw date juices, but in no cases, raw date juices.

What are the Symptoms?

Symptoms typically appear in 4-14 days following exposure to the virus. The illness initially presents as 3-14 days of fever and headache, and often includes signs of respiratory illness, such as cough, sore throat, and difficulty breathing. A phase of brain swelling (encephalitis) may follow, where symptoms can include drowsiness, disorientation, and mental confusion, which can rapidly progress to coma within 24-48 hours.

  • Fever with Headache
  • Get faint
  • Convulsions
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Delirious/Raving
  • Vomiting

Preventive measures from Nipah Virus (NiV)

  • Do not drink date palm juice raw or later by keep covering it
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after contact with date palm juice collection containers
  • Do not eat partially eaten fruits of any kind
  • Wear a mask properly covering the nose and mouth while providing care to the affected patient and wash hands thoroughly after care
  • If Nipah symptoms appear, the patient should be sent to the nearest hospital immediately

Part of the Sources: Zoonotic disease control program, Communicable disease control (CDC), Department of health.


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