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  • Basic preventive measures can reduce Nipah virus attack

    Basic preventive measures like hand washing, not sharing beds or food, and minimizing the number of contacts can limit person to person transmission of Nipah virus.

  • Malaysia orders pig farms closed

    Malaysia has ordered the immediate closure of 79 pig farms in the southern state of Malacca after tests showed that pigs on four of the farms were infected with the deadly Nipah virus. Malacca is the

  • The virus that wouldn't die

    The deadly Nipah virus has resurfaced on Malaysian pig farms. Scientists say urgent measures and regional coordination are needed to avert another

  • Nipah virus antibodies found in Perak fruit bats

    Nipah virus antibodies have been found in fruit bats in Perak, Malaysia but it is still premature to name them as the natural hosts of the disease, said a veterinary expert. Hume Field, principal

  • Findings on Nipah virus to be made public

    The Health Ministry in Malaysia will publish a report on the Nipah virus, including findings by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in medical journals once the analysis of the

  • WHO praise for job well done

    WHO confirmed that Malaysia's massive culling operations earlier this year was the best method in curbing the Nipah virus and commended the country's willingness to spend considerable funds in

  • US team to study deadly virus in UP

    A team of US scientists, which had studied the outbreak of the killer Nipah virus in Malaysia in 1998 and 1999, will visit UP to look into the recent cases of a similar deadly virus thought to have

  • Pneumonia major killer of children in Bangladesh

    Pneumonia has been claiming the highest number of child lives in the country, despite a remarkable progress in under-five child survival for immunization and oral saline over the last three decades, pediatricians and health scientists said here yesterday. "Pneumonia is still the leading cause of childhood deaths in Bangladesh,' Steve Luby, agency head of Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), US Embassy in Dhaka, told a symposium. Bangladesh Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (BSPID), a newly formed body of Paediatricians and health scientists, organised the two-day function at Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre, where experts from home and abroad are participating. BSPID President and former director of Dhaka Shishu Hospital Prof Manzoor Hussain chaired the inaugural function, addressed by National Prof M R Khan, noted paediatrician Prof MQK Talukder, Prof Dr Satish Deopoojari of India, BSPID Secretary General Dr Samir K Saha, and BSPID Executives Dr Reaz Mobarak and Dr Mizanur Rahman. Steve Luby, also head of the programme on infectious disease of International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B), said one in five children per 1,000 died within five years of their age during 1975, but this number has come down by 75 percent over the last three decades. "There is a 90 percent reduction alone in diarrhoea-specific deaths over last 30 years,' he said referring to the statistics of the latest Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS). He said Bangladesh is one of the three to four developing countries heading successfully towards achieving millennium development goals (MDGs). Steve Luby referred to the findings of a three-year community and hospital-based surveillance in urban Dhaka ended in 2007 and said meningitis, pneumonia, severe pneumonia and very severe pneumonia were common causes of child illnesses. He also said streptococcus, and influenza are important paediatric pathogens in Bangladesh. Answering to a question he said the problem of pneumonia necessitates a combined effort from paediatricians, parents and policymakers for further reduction in under-five child mortality and morbidity in the country, where prevalence of pneumonia is around 40 percent among sick children. He also expressed hope that the World Health Organization (WHO) would soon recommend alternative antibiotics of ampicillin and penicillin for such treatments at a low cost. Prof Talukder underscored the need for popularising breastfeeding further among mothers from all walks of life. The children who are not breastfed are four times susceptible to infection than the breastfed children, he pointed out and added that breastfeeding could be one of the best means to prevent child mortality. Prof Manzoor Hussain said the BSPID has been formed to work as a catalyst to groom specialised paediatricians and train general practitioners across the country to treat emerging and reemerging infections among children. The incidence and prevalence of infectious diseases among children are very high, despite successful running of the extended programme for immunization (EPI). "The emerging infection diseases such as nipah virus and HIV/AIDS need specialised persons to deal with,' he said, adding that the DSPID would work as an umbrella organisation to help the doctors who want to develop their career as 'infectious disease paediatricians.' A total of 125 doctors have already joined in BSPID for the purpose, he added. According to Unicef statistics, under-five child mortality mostly results from neonatal mortality, which makes up 55 percent of such deaths in Bangladesh. More than 120,000 neonates die within four weeks of their birth every year and most of these deaths occur at homes, where 90 percent of deliveries take place without proper safety. Malnutrition and lack of health education are seen two other factors killing children.

  • 'Donors give less money for neglected diseases'

    DAVID H MOLYNEUX, of the Lymphatic Filariasis Support Centre, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK, tells VIBHA VARSHNEY that public health policy should focus on neglected diseases, for they are easy to control:

  • Nipah tests to start soon

    The Veterinary Research Institute will launch "full-scale" Nipah virus tests on cats and dogs in Malaysia within two to three weeks. Its director Dr Aziz Jamaluddin said tests on the canine and

  • Unmasking the killer

    The virus that caused havoc in Malaysia may not have been JE after all

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