Global Alert and Response (GAR)

Nipah-like virus in Bangladesh

12 February 2004

From 4 January 2004 – 8 February 2004, WHO has received reports of a total of 42 cases and 14 deaths attributed to Nipah-like virus infections in Bangladesh. The infections have occurred in Manikganj (7 cases, 4 deaths) and Rajbari provinces (35 cases, 10 deaths). An additional 45 cases are under investigation.

Laboratory testing, performed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta has confirmed Nipah-like virus in 9 of the cases to date. A team comprising experts from WHO, partners in the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network, (CDC Atlanta, Epiet, France and the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh) and the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research, Bangladesh is assisting the Ministry with epidemiological investigations.

Further activities include case control studies, sero-surveys of humans, and sero-surveys of animals in the region to identify the viral reservoir.

For more information on Nipah virus, see the WHO Fact Sheet.

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