Nipah virus outbreak with person-to-person transmission in a district of Bangladesh, 2007

Homaira, Nusrat; Rahman, Mahmudur; Hossain, M. Jahangir; Epstein, Jonathan H.; Sultana, Rebecca; Khan, M. S. U.; Podder, Goutam; Nahar, Kamrun; Ahmed, Be-Nazir; Gurley, Emily S.; Daszak, Peter; Lipkin, W. Ian; Rollin, Pierre E.; Comer, James A.; Ksiazek, Thomas G.; Luby, Stephen P.

In February 2007 an outbreak of Nipah virus (NiV) encephalitis in Thakurgaon District of northwest Bangladesh affected seven people, three of whom died. All subsequent cases developed illness 7-14 days after close physical contact with the index case while he was ill. Cases were more likely than controls to have been in the same room (100% vs. 9.5%, OR undefined, P<0.001) and to have touched him (83% vs. 0%, OR undefined, P<0.001). Although the source of infection for the index case was not identified, 50% of Pteropus bats sampled from near the outbreak area 1 month after the outbreak had antibodies to NiV confirming the presence of the virus in the area. The outbreak was spread by person-to-person transmission. Risk of NiV infection in family caregivers highlights the need for infection control practices to limit transmission of potentially infectious body secretions.


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Epidemiology and Infection

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Center for Infection and Immunity
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March 11, 2014