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Warning against drinking raw date juice issued

Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has advised countrymen to refrain from drinking raw date juice to prevent Nipah-virus related deaths.

Nipah virus causes severe disease and the outbreak of the Nipah virus related disease spreads sharply during the winter season, according to a press release signed by deputy programme manager Dr SM Golam Kausar.

“Nipah virus spreads through bat secretions or saliva. Consuming contaminated raw date palm sap can also lead to the transmission of this virus,” it added.

Nipah virus (NiV) is a zoonotic virus (it is transmitted from animals to humans) and can also be transmitted through contaminated food or directly between people. In infected people, it causes a range of illnesses from asymptomatic (subclinical) infection to acute respiratory illness and fatal encephalitis.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Nipah virus was first detected in Malaysia in 1999 and the deadly virus was identified in Bangladesh for the first in 2001.