Tuesday, March 11, 2008

More on Nipah in Bangladesh

In light of the recent deaths due to Nipah virus infection in Bangladesh, here's a little more info on Nipah virus:

Nipah virus infection is characterized by an onset of influenza-like illness, generally with high fever, and can progress to encephalitis, coma, and death. The case fatality ratio of clinically apparent cases is approximately 50%. There are currently no drug therapies that effective treat Nipah virus infection, although ribavirin may have some efficacy. As a response to the deaths, local health and governmental authorities have begun a campaign to raise awareness about Nipah virus infection in the area. In the past, there have 7 more reported deaths as well as 10 serious cases due to Nipah virus infection in this region of Bangladesh.

Nipah virus is a member of the paramyxoviridae family, and is a zoonotic virus that was first isolated in 1999. It is thought to infect various species of fruit bats. Transmission to humans is proposed to be through exposure (either direct contact or contact with infected bodily fluids) to such infected animal reservoirs. Pigs and other domestic animals, such as dogs and cats, may also have the ability to be infected, and to transmit the virus to humans.

For more info on Nipah virus

- Claire

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