Nipah virus kills five in Bangladesh
Mahmudur Rahman, the director of the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research, said on Friday that there were six people infected in Gaibandha, Natore, Naogaon, Jhenaidah and Rajbarhi. Of the six people infected with the virus, which is considered to be a biological weapon by the United States, five died as a result of the disease, Bdnews24.com reports.
"A mother died in Natore leaving her eight-month baby infected," Rahman said, according to Bdnews24.com.
The Nipah virus infects people after they drink raw date sap, which is an old custom in Bangladesh, particularly in rural areas. The IEDCR suggested drinking boiled sap or molasses and washing hands with soap after caring for the infected.
On Wednesday, the IEDCR confirmed the death of a boy in Dhaka from the virus that also left his father hospitalized and critically ill. The family drank raw date sap purchased from Bhaluka on January 11 and fell ill six days afterwards. The boy died on Tuesday at a clinic in Dhaka.
Rahman said that a man who sold 100 bottles of sap to different families in Dhaka was not cooperating with officials.
The Nipah virus was first detected in Malaysia in 1998, though Bangladesh is the only country in the world that currently reports the disease. The disease causes fever, an altered mental state and seizures approximately seven to eight days after exposure. The fatality rate of Nipah virus is approximately 80 percent, Bdnews24.com reports.