The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a travel notice for Bangladesh.
There is an outbreak of Nipah virus disease in seven districts (Rajshahi, Naogaon, Rajbari, Pabna, Shariatpur, Natore and Narsingdi) in Bangladesh. To date, 11 cases and eight deaths have been reported (72.7% CFR).
This outbreak is related to the consumption of date palm sap.
CDC officials advise travelers to this area should:
- Avoid eating or drinking products that could be contaminated by bats, such as raw date palm sap, raw fruit, or fruit that is found on the ground.
- Wash hands often with soap and water.
- Avoid contact with sick people who have symptoms such as fever and cough, as well as blood and other body fluids.
- Avoid contact with fruit bats.
Travelers should seek medical care immediately if they develop fever, headache, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, vomiting, drowsiness, or confusion during or after travel (up to 14 days). Travelers should call ahead before going to a healthcare facility and tell them about having been in an area with Nipah virus.
Nipah virus is a henipavirus spread through contact with infected animals (fruit bats or pigs), as well as food and materials contaminated with their saliva or urine. Nipah virus can also be spread from person to person through bodily fluids (blood, urine, or saliva).
Symptoms range from mild to severe and typically appear in 4–14 days following exposure to the virus. Signs and symptoms include fever, headache, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, vomiting, drowsiness, and confusion. In severe cases, infection can lead to swelling of the brain (encephalitis) and potentially death.
Nipah virus infection leads to death in 40–70% of cases.
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