Tags: Ebola Outbreak | ebola | bats

Bats May Have Caused Ebola Epidemic

By    |   Tuesday, 30 Dec 2014 11:59 AM

The Ebola epidemic raging in West Africa may have originated from contact between humans and virus-infected bats, researchers believe.
 
The report, published in EBO Molecular Medicine, suggests free-tailed bats as the most likely source of the viral outbreak. Previous Ebola outbreaks have been linked to the consumption of other types of infected fruit bats or larger wild animals, which this study also ruled out.
 
The latest country to report an Ebola case is Scotland. Officials confirmed a female healthcare worker who had returned from West Africa is being treated for the disease in Glascow and a second healthcare worker is being tested there.
 
The toll of Ebola cases in this latest epidemic recently topped 20,000 and 7,842 deaths have been reported since the outbreak began just over a year ago.
 
The source of the current epidemic has been traced to a 2-year-old child who became sick in Meliandou, Guinea. Researchers interviewed locals there and found that although fruit bats are present there, their consumption would be an unlikely source because adults would have become sickened at the same time as well.
 
But they also found a large colony of free-tailed insectivorous bats living in a hollow tree nearby, where children often used to play, which may have resulted in a massive exposure to the bats, pinpointing this as the possible source, the report said.
 

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The Ebola epidemic raging in West Africa may have originated from contact between humans and virus-infected bats, researchers believe.
ebola, bats
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2014-59-30
Tuesday, 30 Dec 2014 11:59 AM
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