Japan Bangladesh Friendship Hospital

Japan Bangladesh Friendship Hospital


Recent outbreaks

Nipah virus infections: An outbreak of Nipah virus infections was reported in January 2012 from Jaipurhat, killing six people. In January 2011, a Nipah virus ourbreak occurred in Lalmonirhat and Rangpur, killing 35 people as of February. At around the same time, an outbreak was reported from Faridpur and Rajbari districts, killing four people. A number of Nipah virus outbreaks have been reported from Bangladesh over the past few years, chiefly in the western part of the country. The largest occurred in the Faridpur district in March-April 2004, resulting in 36 cases and 27 deaths. Other outbreaks occurred in Meherpur in April-May 2001, Naogaon in January 2003, Faridpur in March-April 2004, Tangail in January 2005, Kushtia in April 2007, Manikganj and Rajbari districts (Dhaka Division) in February 2008 (nine fatalities), and Faridpur district (Dhaka division) in January 2010 (3 fatal cases).

Symptoms: Nipah virus infections begin with flu-like symptoms, including high fevers and muscle pains, which may be followed by inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), resulting in drowsiness, disorientation, convulsions, coma, and death. In most cases, the disease is acquired by close contact with contaminated tissue or body fluids from infected animals, but there is evidence that the virus may also be transmitted from person-to-person. A recent study suggested that some of the recent outbreaks in Bangladesh were caused by consumption of fresh date palm sap, a local sweet delicacy, which had been contaminated by fruit bats.

Dengue fever: An outbreak of dengue fever was reported from Dhaka in August 2011, causing more than 400 cases. A dengue outbreak between August and October, 2009, caused more than 300 cases. Previous dengue outbreaks occurred in the summers of 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006, chiefly affecting Dhaka.

Symptoms: Dengu fever is a flu-like illness which may be complicated by hemorrhage or shock. The infection is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, which bite primarily in the daytime and favor densely populated areas, though they also inhabit rural environments. No vaccine is available at this time.

Chikungunya fever: A mosquito-borne illness characterized by fever and incapacitating joint pains, was reported from Bangladesh in November 2011, causing 46 cases. Symptoms of chikungunya fever include fever, joint pains, muscle aches, headache, and rash. The disease is almost never fatal, but may be complicated by protracted fatigue and malaise.

Symptoms: Rarely, the infection is complicated by meningoencephalitis, which is usually seen in newborns and those with pre-existing medical conditions. Insect protection measures are strongly recommended, as described below. Because of the risk of mother-to-child transmission, pregnant women need to take special care to protect themselves from mosquito bites.

Anthrax: An outbreak of cutaneous anthrax was reported from Bangladesh in August 2010, causing more than 600 cases by October. The outbreak appeared to have been spread by infected buffalo, cattle, and goats. Smaller outbreaks are frequently reported from Bangladesh. In June 2012, an outbreak was reported from Panchil and Ultadab villages in Sirajganj district, causing 67 cases. In August 2011, a total of 16 cases were reported from Khirshin Tikar village under Paba sub-district of northwestern Rajshahi district. In July 2011, a total of 39 human cases were reported from Meherpur district. In May and June 2011, dozens of anthrax cases were reported from Sirajganj and Pabna districts. In August 2009, an anthrax outbreak occurred in Pabna village, Rajshahi Division.

Anthrax generally occurs in those who have direct contact with infected farm animals or who consume infected meat. Most travelers are at low risk.

Cholera: A cholera outbreak was reported from the Dhaka district in March 2010, causing more than 1000 cases. The main symptoms of cholera are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting, which in severe cases may lead to dehydration and death. Most outbreaks are related to contaminated drinking water, typically in situations of poverty, overcrowding, and poor sanitation. Most travelers are at extremely low risk for infection.

Cholera vaccine, where available, is recommended only for certain high-risk individuals, such as relief workers, health professionals, and those traveling to remote areas where cholera epidemics are occurring and there is limited access to medical care.

Meningococcal meningitis: An outbreak of meningococcal meningitis was reported in February 2009 from the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh. The outbreak appeared to have spread from Mizoram State in India, which borders Bangladesh.

Meningococcal infections are spread person-to-person by exposure to secretions from the nose or throat, and may lead to meningitis, marked by the abrupt onset of fever, headache, stiff neck, and lethargy, frequently with a rash. Meningococcal vaccine is recommended for travelers to the Chittagong Hill Tracts.

Avian influenza (Bird flu): The first human case of avian influenza ("bird flu") was reported from Bangladesh in May 2008. A second was reported in a 16-month-old girl from Kamalapur, Dhaka, in March 2011. A third was reported in a 2-year-old boy from Kamalapur, Dhaka, in April 2011. Three cases were reported in March 2012 from Dhaka City. None of the human cases in Bangladesh were fatal. Poultry outbreaks were first reported in March 2007 from central and northern Bangladesh. Fresh outbreaks were reported from the northern part of the country in November 2007 and spread to other areas, ultimately affecting 47 out of Bangladesh's 64 districts. This wave of outbreaks appeared to end by May 2008, but fresh outbreaks appeared across the country in March 2009. Additional poultry outbreaks were reported from Narayanganj district and Kishoreganj district in January 2011 and from Gazipur and Noakhali in March 2011.

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