Controlling Nipah virus encephalitis in Bangladesh: Policy options
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Nipah virus (NiV) encephalitis is endemic in Bangladesh, with yearly seasonal outbreaks occurring since 2003. NiV has a notable case fatality rate, 75–100 per cent depending on the strain. In Bangladesh, primary transmission to humans is believed to be because of consumption of bat-contaminated date palm sap (DPS). Both the disease and the virus have been investigated extensively, however efforts to implement preventive strategies have met social and cultural challenges. Here we present a variety of community approaches to control the spread of Nipah encephalitis, along with advantages and disadvantages of each. This information may be useful to health workers and policymakers in potential NiV outbreak areas in Southeast Asia.
KeywordsNipah virus control policy Bangladesh
Vikram Misra, Kesiena Akpoigbe, Teresia Maina, Roshan Madalagama, Ellen Rafferty, Kurt Kreuger, Ibrahim Elsohaby, and Geetika Verma, contributed to our discussions. This study, part of the Integrated Training Program in Infectious Disease, Food Safety and Public Policy held at the University of Saskatchewan, was supported by a grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
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