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The Bangladesh Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Zahid Maleque, announced that Nipah virus cases in the country have risen to eight, including five fatalities, according to a local media report.

Nipah virus/ IEDCR

This is more than the three cases that were reported in all 0f 2022.

The health minister notes that most of the cases were from Rajshahi Division.

This has prompted officials to urge the public not to drink raw date juice and not to eat half eaten fruit that may be found.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says the mortality rate due to Nipah is between 40-75 percent globally. In Bangladesh, it stands at 71 percent.

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Nipah is also one of the WHOs nine “priority diseases” (diseases that pose the greatest public health risk due to their epidemic potential and/or whether there is no or insufficient countermeasures)

Bangladesh researchers: Transfer of immunity against Nipah virus from mother to child confirmed for the first time

According to icddr,b, the Nipah virus emerged in Bangladesh in 2001. Even if people recover from the sickness, they remain vulnerable to severe neurological issues. It also causes complications towards the end of pregnancy for women.