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Nipah Virus in Bangladesh (Rangpur)

06 Mar 2019

According to mediaLink the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) reports Nipah virus has caused of 5 deaths in the northwestern Thakurgoan district of Rangpur Division,Bangladesh. People have been warned to avoid drinking raw date juice, which is considered tob be a source of Nipah virus infection.

Advice to Travellers

Nipah virus infection is very rare and has a restricted distribution. The risk to travellers is considered very low. 

Consumption of raw date palm sap is a known risk factor for infection in Bangladesh.

Travellers are advised to:

  • Avoid close contact with fruit bats and bat roosts
  • Avoid consumption of food/drink potentially contaminated by fruit bats; raw date palm sap should be boiled before being consumed and fruit should be thoroughly washed and peeled.
  • Travellers who may be caring for ill relatives potentially infected with Nipah need to be aware of the risks of infection and practice regular hand washing with soap.
  • Protective clothing and gloves should be worn when handling sick animals or participating in slaughter.
  • Health care workers should follow strict infection control measures for both droplet and contact spread.