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Fruit Bats Act As Carriers of Ebola Virus

by Medindia Content Team on  December 2, 2005 at 5:00 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
Fruit Bats Act As Carriers of Ebola Virus
The Gabon's Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville has identified three types of fruit bats as the possible source of infection by the deadly Ebola virus . The Epomops franqueti, Hypsignathus monstrosus, and Myonycteris torquata bats are eaten in Central Africa by local Congolese and Gabonese.
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This contributes towards the view that the infection is contracted through the eating habits of the people. But the research has not ruled out the possibility of other species also being reservoirs for the virus. The Ebola virus results in a death through internal hemorrhaging among human beings, and a handshake is more than sufficient to transmit the disease from one person to another. The virus has also taken a heavy toll among the local gorilla and chimpanzee populations.

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Bats on the other hand have the capability of surviving the virus in spite of being carriers. Insufficient funds has inhibited research activities with regard to Ebola. If the bats are the only source of contracting the deadly disease, then not eating bats alone will be sufficient to prevent further outbreaks of Ebola, as no cure has yet been found for the disease.

Over 1,000 bats and animals were tested before the fruit bats were identified as the reservoirs of the virus. Till date the virus has killed 90% of the infected people.

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