scientists have, for the first time, discovered a new ebola species before detection in a sick human being or animal. the discovery of bombali virus adds further support for bats as hosts of ebolaviruses.
bombali virus was detected in free-tailed bats in sierra leone (little free-tailed (chaerephon pumilus) and angolan free-tailed (mops condylurus). the bats were found roosting inside houses, indicating the potential for human transmission.
however, further studies are required to investigate whether exposure has actually occurred or if bombali virus is will make humans sick.
the authors also emphasized that they wanted to to “stress that our study is not meant to create alarm or incite the retaliatory culling of bats. while bats have been implicated as reservoirs for a number of other infectious pathogens, they are also important insectivores, pollinators and seed dispersers. previous studies have shown that killing or disturbing bats in their natural habitat does not reduce the risk of transmission; rather, it can increase the number of susceptible bats and enhance disease transmission.”
i think we need much more funding for this important area of scientific research.
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