Health Desk- Feb 07, 2019: Nipah virus is a zoonotic virus that can be transmitted through contaminated foods especially from date palm juice and leftover fruits by the fruit bats or other birds and causes wide range of sufferings from flu-like illness to acute respiratory infection (mild, severe) and fatal encephalitis.
Nipah virus has become a public health concern as the case fatality rate is estimated at 40 per cent to 75 per cent.
Nipah virus was first recognized in 1999 during an outbreak among pig farmers in Malaysia.
According to WHO, up to March 31, 2012, a total of 209 human cases of Nipah infection in Bangladesh were reported; 161 (77 per cent) of them died. Particularly, the recent outbreak in India in 2018 increases the risk of the new outbreak in our country.
However, it was also recognized in Bangladesh in 2001, and nearly annual outbreaks have reported till 2012 mostly from the west and north-western regions of Bangladesh.