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Bat Soup, the Culprit of Spreading Deadly Ebola Virus

bat soup

A female Gambian fruit bat.Image credit: Ivan Kuzmin.

It is reported that the outbreak of the Ebola virus has deprived the lives of 63 people in Guinea of Africa.

To fight against the prevalence of such deadly disease, the officials in the Guinean government have taken unprecedented measures to ban having bat soup and grilled bat as well as some local delicacies.

According to Remy Lamah, the health minister of the Guinean government, the bat is found as the infectious agent of the Ebola virus and the government has issued the ban all over the country. Therefore, local residents should take extreme caution even in avoiding eating rats and monkeys, because they are dangerous in infection of the Ebola.

What Is Ebola?

As kind of hemorrhagic virus, Ebola could be easily spread through bodily fluids, thus causing diarrhea, high fever and vomiting as well as bleeding internally and externally. Up to now, no vaccine or cure has been found yet towards such virus. So fatality of Ebola is more than 90 percent of the time.

It is believed by the medical experts that animals are regarded as the natural carriers of the Ebola virus, which was in the past considered to be transmitted to humans via monkeys, chimpanzees and gorillas. Although bats and other mammals could harbor the virus, there is no clear indication that hey would have any symptoms of such disease.

Bats could be eaten in several ways, for example, they are generally grilled over an open fire or boiled in a spicy soup together with ingredients including peppers.

The ethnic groups, like the Guerze, Kissi, and Toma In Guinea, have the tradition of eating bats on a regular basis.

Bats is the host of the diseases.

Although many animals are closely linked with the spread of the disease, in recent years, the scientific scrutiny has been targeted on the uncanny ability of bats in hosting “zoonotic” viruses, which have readily jumped from one species to another.

In the interview of David Hayman, a wildlife epidemiologist at Colorado State University said that there did exist something different about bats in terms of their ability in hosting zoonotic infections.

The flying mammals can harbor more than 60 viruses which are capable of infecting humans and hosting more viruses per species than rodents.

According to the research by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), apart from the Ebola virus, bats could spread the diseases such as histoplasmosis, rabies, Nipah , SARS, Marburg, Lyssaviruses as well.

Source: LiveScience