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  • Nipah passed through sweet food and domestic animals

    Source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-nad032908.php
    New and deadly viruses passed through sweet food and domestic animals

    Nipah virus is a new and deadly brain and lung disease that emerged from Singapore and Malaysia ten years ago. It is now spreading into rural India and Bangladesh killing up to three-quarters of the people who become infected in some outbreaks, scientists heard today (Thursday 3 April 2008) at the Society for General Microbiology’s 162nd meeting being held this week at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

    “People are catching this disease by drinking date palm juice or probably by eating fruit contaminated by the virus, or through contact with infected animals. We have seen nine outbreaks in Bangladesh since 2001, which killed 40-100% of the people who were infected”, says Dr Jahangir Hossain, a scientist working in the Dhaka Hospital at the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research in Bangladesh (ICDDR,B).

    Fruit bats are a natural reservoir of Nipah virus, and the first outbreaks in Singapore and Malaysia started when pigs on farms ate fruit which had been bitten by infected bats and dropped near their pens. The pigs developed coughs and breathing difficulties, and an epidemic spread across the Asian peninsula due to the pig trade. Pig farmers and abattoir workers became infected from sick pigs.

    “Three outbreaks in Bangladesh were caused when people ate fresh date palm sap, a local sweet delicacy, which had been contaminated by bats.” says Dr Jahangir Hossain. “Because both people and animals in Bangladesh often eat fresh date palm sap and fruits which have been bitten by bats, contaminated food and domestic animals form an important transmission pathway for Nipah virus to infect people”.

    The researchers have been trying to discover the way Nipah virus outbreaks start and to identify the factors which could help prevent virus transmission in the future. The large outbreak in pigs in Malaysia and Singapore caused the biggest outbreak in humans so far. In one outbreak in Bangladesh, people became infected after contact with sick cows, and close contact with pig herds was associated with virus transmission in another outbreak.

    “We are working with local date palm sap collectors to learn about traditional practices that prevent bats from getting at and contaminating the sap”, says Dr Jahangir Hossain. “If we can identify the factors that allow the virus to be passed from bats to humans so frequently, we might be able to help intervene and interfere with the transmission pathways. Current efforts should focus on restricting the consumption of fruit bitten by bats, restricting human contact with sick animals, and protecting date palm sap from contamination by bat secretions”.

  • #2
    Re: Nipah passed through sweet food and domestic animals

    Tainted fruit blamed for Nipah outbreak in Bangladesh


    Staff Reporter



    The people, who fell sick in different areas of the country with the new and dangerous Nipah virus in recent years probably caught it from eating contaminated fruit or from contact with infected domestic animals, scientists said in the capital yesterday.

    There have been nine Nipah outbreaks in Bangladesh since 2001, resulting in the deaths of between 40 and 100 per cent of infected people, said Jahangir Hossain, of the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research in Bangladesh (ICDDRB), popularly known as the Dhaka Cholera Hospital. "Three outbreaks in Bangladesh were caused when people ate fresh date palm sap, a local sweet delicacy, which had been contaminated by bats," he said in a statement yesterday.

    Jahangir Hossain, who issued the statement on behalf of the Society for General Microbiology as one of its top leaders, said, "Because both people and animals in Bangladesh often eat fresh date palm sap and fruits which have been bitten by bats, contaminated food and domestic animals form an important transmission pathway for Nipah virus to infect people."

    Fruit bats are believed to be a natural reservoir of the Nipah virus, which was first seen when it killed more than 100 people out of 257 infected in Malaysia in 1999, said a story created by the French international news agency Reuters.

    As per local media reports the Nipah virus has killed at least 89 people in Bangladesh since 2001, it added.

    Jahangir Hossain said the first outbreaks in Malaysia started when pigs on farms ate fruit, which had been bitten by infected bats. The pigs later developed coughs and breathing difficulties, and the virus soon spread to pig farmers and abattoir workers.

    The deadly brain and lung disease is now spreading into rural India and Bangladesh. In one outbreak in Bangladesh, people became infected after contact with sick cows, while close contact with pig herds was associated with another outbreak.

    Jahangir Hossain's team is working with date palm sap collectors to stop bats from contaminating date palm sap.

    "If we can identify the factors that allow the virus to be passed from bats to humans so frequently, we might be able to help intervene and interfere with the transmission pathways," he said.

    He suggested the Government, saying, "Current efforts should focus on restricting the consumption of fruit bitten by bats, restricting human contact with sick animals, and protecting date palm sap from contamination by bat secretions." http://nation.ittefaq.com/issues/200...4/news0547.htm
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