Is it Nipah encephalitis? It is not sure till now as the death toll is out of control from the disease which has been continuing for the last six days beginning on 31 January 2011 in Bangladesh, local sources said.
The first case of death was happened at Hatibandha upazila of Lalmonirhat district on Monday last (31st January 2011 ). The deceased were identified as Sabina, 3, daughter of Mokbul Hossain of Saniazan Char village, Sajjad Hossain, 3, son of Belal Hossain of Tongvanga village, Rajjak Miah, 32, son of Abbas Ali of Genduguri village under Hatibandha upazila, and Aronno Ghos, 8, son of Ashok Ghos of 'bus stand' area of Hatibandha town.
As the symbol of the disease locals said, with high fever, they were taken to Hatibandha upazila health complex where Sabina died on Monday night. The patient gets high fever ranging from 103 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit and it has no treatment except symptom management, IEDCR sources said.
More eight people died on 2nd February 2011. Of the diseased, seven -- Gourob Roy, 2, Nishad, 3, Yasmin Akhter, 4, Anonya Ghosh, 4, Kajol Islam, 8, Sadequl, 22, and Azizul Islam, 32, -- are of Hatibandha of Lalmonirhat District and Tamanna, 4, is of Pirgachha of Rangpur District.
The illness claimed four more lives in Rangpur and Lalmonirhat on Friday night and Saturday (5 February 2011), raising the death toll from the disease to 24.
Some of the newly deceased are Mansur Ali, 42, Swarna, 4, daughter of Jahangir, and Mahbub, 16, son of Nozir Ali of Dakshin Goddimari village in Hatibandha upazila of Lalmonirhat and Insan Ali of Mirbag in Kaunia upazila of Rangpur.
Mansur was first taken to a local clinic, Modern Clinic, but was denied admission. Then he was rushed to Rangpur Medical College Hospital where he died at about 7:10pm.
Swarna died at Rangpur Medical College Hospital at 9:00pm Friday while Mahbub at 12:30pm Saturday, RMCH director Toufiqur Rahman confirmed.
Insan Ali breathed his last at his Mirbag residence at about 4:30am, said the local health officer.
Hospital sources said 24 encephalitis-infected people are now undergoing treatment at Rajshahi Medical College & Hospital (RMCH), Gangachara Upazila Health Complex of Rangpur and Hatibandha Upazila Health Complex of Lalmonirhat at present.
Condition of two patients admitted to RMCH is said to be critical, hospital sources said.
The government has confirmed the disease as Nipah encephalitis after a laboratory test, which mainly spread to the two districts.
The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), advised caution while drinking raw date juice as bats, which are natural hosts of the disease, usually drink date juice at night.