Ebola Virus Found In Local Bats, Will India Suffer An Ebola Outbreak?

Hanima Anand |Jun 02, 2020

Preparing yourself for another worse epidemic caused by Ebola virus which is bursting out in DR of Congo. 2020 should be called the year of diseases.

When Covid-19 hasn’t been controlled worldwide, another epidemic is announced in Congo, caused by the deadly Ebola virus disease. Let's see what is Ebola virus, how it spreads and whether India will suffer from another epidemic named Ebola in the near future!

What is Ebola?

Ebola is a deadly disease that occur mostly in Africa, but it has also spread to other parts of the world recently. This disease often affects human and primates as monkeys, gorillas and chimpanzees. There are many kinds of ebola virus which cause EVD (ebola virus disease).

Ebola Virus
Illustration of Ebola virus structure

Why is it named Ebola?

The virus was named Ebola after the place where it’s first found, the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976.

However, scientists still don’t know where it origins, especially when the disease was recorded in many countries all over the world.

Ebola River In Congo
Congo is where Ebola was first found and also suffering the Ebola epidemic now.

What spread Ebola virus?

Researchers believe that bats or nonhuman primates are the sources to carry Ebola virus and spread it to other animals and humans.

This virus can survive in body fluids and will get in our body through broken skin or mucous membranes in eyes, nose or mouth. More seriously, it can persist in patient’s body even after they have recovered from the illness.

Ebola virus found in Indian bats

A research in 2019 reports that bats and bats hunters in India, specifically the northeast regions, carry antibodies to Ebola virus. This means the virus is circulating among these local bats which can be transmitted to humans.

Ebola Virus In India
Scientists found Ebolavirus antibodies in fruit bats in northeast India.

However, the research doesn’t indicate an increasing risk of an Ebola outbreak in India. Having said that, the possibility of bats spreading Ebola virus to humans is still there.

Also, these fruit bats carrying Ebola virus have a wide geographical distribution, which will make it hard to control the disease once it bursts out.

Ian Mendenhall, principal research scientist shared that:

“The exact nature of the virus that the bats harbour is not known and these viruses may be much less pathogenic in humans compared to Ebola or Marburg virus outbreaks in parts of sub-Saharan Africa.”

He believes the northeast India doesn’t have higher risk of being infected with Ebola but he doesn’t refuse the possibility of bat-to-human transmission of Ebola virus with this research result.

Given the current situation and lessons from coronavirus pandemic, we must be careful with wild animals, especially bats. Please do not touch wild animals and always wash your hands with soap regularly during the day.

To read more about Ebola symptoms, please follow the link!

>>> Read more on Starbiz: Wajid Khan Mother Tests Positive For Coronavirus

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