Two more Nipah virus cases have been reported in Bangladesh's outbreak, and 2 more people have died from their infections, raising the total to 10 cases, 7 of them fatal, according to a recent update from the country's Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control, and Research (IEDCR).
The virus activity is up sharply from the handful of annual cases the country has typically reported over the past few years. Bangladesh is one of three countries, alongside India and the Philippines, that reports sporadic cases. In earlier announcements, Bangladeshi officials have warned people to avoid drinking raw date juice, which can be contaminated by the saliva or feces of bats known to harbor Nipah virus.
According to the IEDCR, the patients are from six districts, most of them in the west or west-central part of the country. Six patients are male, and four are female.
Nipah virus often causes severe or fatal infections, and human-to-human infections have been reported. There are no approved treatments or vaccines. The World Health Organization and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) consider Nipah virus a high-priority pathogen because of its pandemic and bioterrorism potential.