Tags: egyptian | tomb | bats | mers | virus

Egyptian Tomb Bats Linked to Deadly MERS Virus Killing 47

Image: Egyptian Tomb Bats Linked to Deadly MERS Virus Killing 47

Friday, 23 Aug 2013 09:58 AM

By Alexandra Ward

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Egyptian tomb bats may be the cause of the new deadly virus that's claimed the lives of 47 people worldwide, scientists have reported.

The Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), a coronavirus similar to SARS, first emerged in Saudi Arabia last year and has been spreading slowly ever since. It begins with a fever and mild cough, but progresses rapidly to pneumonia.

Researchers have long suspected that some sort of animal species was responsible for MERS and now they've identified the link. A fecal sample from an Egyptian tomb bat revealed traces of the virus and, more importantly, the infected bat was found close to where the first case of MERS was reported.

Urgent: Should Obamacare be Repealed? Vote Here Now

"There have been several reports of finding MERS-like viruses in animals," Dr. Ian Lipkin of Columbia University told NBC News. "None were a genetic match. In this case we have a virus in an animal that is identical in sequence to the virus found in the first human case. Importantly, it’s coming from the vicinity of that first case."

Identifying the carrier of the virus is a big breakthrough, but Dr. Ziad Memish, Saudi Arabia's deputy health minister, doubts that the animals directly affected humans.

"I think we suspected from day one… this had something to do with bats," Memish told a gathering of health experts hosted by the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Health Security in Washington this week. "There must be something in the middle. Is it food? Is it something else? We think bats are the source but we need an intermediate host. We have not been able to document the relationship between the patients and the bats."

Latest: Do You Support Giving Illegals Citizenship? Vote Here Now

Lipkin's team will continue searching for MERS links in other animals while monitoring the tomb bat species.

Earlier this month, a European team of researchers claimed that they had found antibodies to a MERS-like virus in camels from Oman, but, strangely, no MERS cases have been reported in that country.

Related stories:

Bats Hold Secret to Human Longevity: Scientists

Bat-Winged Drone Bomber in Test Flight: US Navy

SARS-Like Bug Strikes 10th Patient Worldwide as Mysterious Virus Spreads in UK

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
 
 
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved