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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:47 pm 
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The article is a bit old, but still worthy.

Deadly Virus: bats should have triggered Ebola epidemic
Bats_Der_Spiegel_s.jpg [ 27.88 KiB | Viewed 349 times ]

Thursday, 31/07/2014 - 20:05 clock

About 700 people have died in West Africa on the Ebola virus. In one study, researchers give confident that we have identified the cause of the epidemic:
bats, which are eaten in many African countries.

More than 1,300 infected and 700 deaths is the current balance of the Ebola epidemic that is currently rampant in four West African countries. A researcher duo from New Orleans and Montreal According to the epidemic is probably due to bats. Either are some of the animals in the region have long been carriers of the virus or an infected bat was moved here from Central Africa, the scientists write in the journal "PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases". However: Whether animals of the Ebola Virus region have indeed in itself, was currently being investigated.

The current outbreak dates back to Zaire Ebola virus (ZEBOV), one of five known species of the pathogen - and with a mortality rate of up to 90 percent of the most dangerous. This virus was first identified in 1976 in what is now Congo, since there were several times outbreaks in regions of Central Africa. These are but thousands of kilometers from the west of the continent, where the Zaire Ebola virus was never detected until a few months ago.

Hardly trade or travel routes
It is unlikely that a man has brought the pathogen to Guinea, write Daniel Bausch of Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans and Lara Black from McGill University in Montreal, Canada: "There is little regular trade or travel routes between Central Africa and Guinea, and Guéckédou - the Ebola epicenter, where the virus is likely to have occurred for the first time - is quite far out of the way ".

Ebola viruses are transmitted primarily by contact with body fluids. The United Nations had already warned about weeks ago, in the region to hunt bats and other wild animals and eat. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the animals are dried in West Africa or eaten in soups sharp. This is according to the researchers mainly by three bat species: the hammer head [bat] (Hypsignathus monstrosus), the Franquet epaulettes bat (Epomops franqueti and the narrow collar bat (Myonycteris torquata).

That it was ever come to an epidemic lies in large part to the social and political conditions in the countries concerned. "Such epidemics do not occur by chance," the researchers write. "Often this is done in areas where the economy and the public health occur after decades of civil wars on the ground." All three currently affected mainly countries - Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone - have suffered in the past from severe political unrest.

Poverty and underdevelopment drove the people to hunt deeper and deeper into the woods. This growing risk of becoming infected with wild animals, writing pad and black. In addition, there is little medical equipment and other material to contain the spread of a disease. They are already beginning with protective gloves, masks, clean needles and disinfectants. The third factor, therefore, the lack of coordination and monitoring mechanisms of the countries will be added.

http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/medi ... 83907.html
Web translation from the German.

Below- map showing geographic distribution of relevant bat species:
Fruit_Bats_Africa_Nature_s.jpg [ 35.43 KiB | Viewed 349 times ]

c, Geographic distribution (inside coloured lines) of the fruit bats Hypsignathus monstrosus (blue),
Epomops franqueti (red) and Myonycteris torquata (yellow).

Picture adapted from:
Fruit bats as reservoirs of Ebola virus
Leroy, E. M. et al.
Nature 438, 575-576(1 December 2005)
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v4 ... 8575a.html
Figure link:
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v4 ... gure-title

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