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Monday, January 28, 2013
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2 more die of Nipah

Nipah virus claimed two more lives in Pabna and Rajshahi yesterday, raising the death toll to eight so far this month.

"We identified three new cases of the disease. Two of them have died today," said Prof Mahmudur Rahman, director of Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).

The first death from the disease this year was reported in Dhaka. People become infected with the virus after drinking raw date sap.

The symptoms of the infection include fever, sneezing and cough, hysteria and respiratory problems. The highly contagious virus spreads through human contact.

Prof Rahman stressed that people showing symptoms must be admitted to hospitals immediately.

He also warned all not to drink raw date sap to avoid contamination with the deadly virus.

The IEDCR has five regular surveillance sites in Rajshahi, Rangpur, Faridpur, Rajbari and Tangail.

Meanwhile, Dr Tom Frieden of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday said Bangladesh has been hit hard by Nipah virus.

He was addressing a discussion at the capital's International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B).

Dr Frieden also advised people to avoid drinking raw date and palm sap.

"We are working closely on this here [Bangladesh]," he said adding that CDC has been offering diagnostic facilities for Nipah related cases in Bangladesh.

Nearly 78 percent of the people who were infected with the virus in Bangladesh died.

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Honourable Health Minister, please address the issue of Nipah virus in the nick of time before it turns out to be spreading across the country.

: Shibesh Kirttania





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