Jan 2015

Where Could Ebola Strike Next? Scientists Hunt Virus In Asia

A few years ago, disease ecologist David Hayman made the discovery of a lifetime.

He was a graduate student at the University of Cambridge. But he spent a lot of that time hiking through the rain forest of Ghana, catching hundreds of fruit bats to test for disease, and discovered an unusually high level of antibodies against Ebola Zaire.

Right away, Hayman was concerned.

Ebola Zaire is the deadliest of the five Ebola species, and it has caused the most outbreaks. The antibodies in the bat’s blood meant the animals had once been infected with Ebola Zaire or something related to it.

Hayman knew West Africa was at risk for an Ebola outbreak. He and his colleagues even published the findings in the journal “Emerging Infectious Diseases.”  Nobody paid much attention then, but in hindsight, his findings were very troublesome.

He and his team recently found evidence indicating the potential for Ebola in China and elsewhere in south Asia.

And that is reason for grave concern.  Read more here.

 

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