Thailand’s bats not responsible for Covid pandemic

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Thai researchers are claiming that horseshoe bats are not responsible for transmitting the Covid virus to humans.

A researcher with the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Diseases-Health Science Centre Supaporn Wacharapluesadee says even though the bats have tested for coronavirus, it’s not the strain is transmissible to humans.

“However, we do need to carefully monitor its development because many emerging infectious diseases began in bat species.”

Supaporn is an expert on emerging infectious diseases in bats after a Russian news agency claimed researchers found a new strain of coronavirus in a Thai bat colony which closely resembles the Sars-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19.

Supaporn admitted a research team is studying emerging pandemic threats in bat populations, she said the study’s findings were misrepresented.

But Supaporn insists that public fears over the horseshoe bats are unwarranted as she says there is no evidence that the bats carrying a similar strain of Covid can transmit the strain to humans. The new strain’s genetic code does, however, feature a 91.5% match with Sars-CoV-2.

Infectious diseases such as SARS, MERS, Hendra, Ebola and Nipah, are thought to have emerged from bats, making research into Asian bats all the more necessary.

Source: The Thaiger

 

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