Monday, January 30, 2012

Could avoiding raw date juice and sap reduce Nipah infection?

Well experts in Bangladesh seem to think so. According to the Bb News (a Bangladeshi Newspaper) five deaths have already been reported this year in a recent outbreak in Bangladesh. Health department officials fear that more outbreaks of this Fruit babo virus loom on the horizon . However, experts are calling for a simple measure to reduce disease: “not drinking raw date juice.”

The link of date juice/sap to nipah is the fear that fruit bats can infect the dates while feeding. Consuming raw juice from infected dates could pass the virus onto unsuspecting victims, posing a serious threat to their health.

Once infected, there is no cure for Nipah infection and the disease is serious. Symptoms can include encephalitis and coma .(CDC)
Interestingly enough, at least according to this article, Nipah virus is currently only found in Bangladesh…I’ll have to look up that fact to make sure it is indeed true.

The original article can be found here: http://bdnews24.com/details.php?id=216993&cid=2
And the CDC page can be found here: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/spb/mnpages/dispages/nipah.htm

--Elena Jordan

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