Sierra Leone’s health ministry yesterday said a new species of Ebola virus has been detected in bats in the north of the country, which would bring the number of known species to six and be the first new one identified in more than a decade.
The new virus is named Bombali for the district it was found, and a health ministry official said it’s not known if the virus can be transmitted to people, though lab tests suggest that it has the potential to enter human cells, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported yesterday.
Virus found in 5 of 241 bats
According to a health ministry statement posted by the Sierra Leone Telegraph, a newspaper based in Sierra Leone, the virus was found as part of the PREDICT Ebola Host Research Project, which is funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). The virus was found in 5 of 241 insect-eating bats tested and is distinct from all previously known Ebola viruses.
Peter Daszak, PhD, president of EcoHealth Alliance, which leads the PREDICT project, told Stat that the virus was found in Angolan freetail bats and though scientists weren’t able to isolate live virus from the samples, they identified enough viral RNA fragments to sequence a nearly complete genome.
He said a scientific paper describing the virus has been prepared and is still under embargo. He added that Sierra Leone’s government wanted to announce the finding to the local press to get ahead of rumors and launch an education campaign, Stat reported.
The government statement said studies are under way to assess if the virus can cause disease, and government officials and their research partners are engaging with local communities to share what is known about the new virus and how to live safely with bats.
First new Ebola virus since 2007
The last new species, Bundibugyo, was first identified in 2007 in Uganda as part of an outbreak investigation. The Ebola Zaire species was the cause of the outbreak in West Africa that sickened about 28,600 people, about 11,300 of them fatally, as well as a just-ended outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Of the five earlier known Ebola species, three have triggered outbreaks in Africa: Zaire, Bundibugyo, and Sudan. Tai Forest (formerly Cote d’Ivoire) has been identified in only one human case. The Ebola Reston species, found only in the Philippines, can cause asymptomatic infections in people but is deadly for non-human primates and can sicken pigs.
Learn more: New Ebola species identified in Sierra Leone
The Latest on: Ebola
via Google News
The Latest on: Ebola
- Ebola outbreak spreads to 3rd province in eastern Congoon August 16, 2019 at 5:02 pm
KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo's year-long Ebola outbreak has spread to a new province, with two cases, including one death, confirmed in South Kivu, according to the government health ministry. The ...
- Q&A: A health official says Ebola has been ‘cured.’ Here’s why that’s not really the caseon August 16, 2019 at 12:51 pm
Amid a year-long Ebola outbreak that has no end in sight, this week’s headlines were unusually upbeat: “Ebola is now curable,” one proclaimed. “Ebola has finally been cured, say scientists,” announced ...
- First Ebola cases surface in DR Congo's South Kivu provinceon August 16, 2019 at 12:36 pm
Bukavu (DR Congo) (AFP) - A woman has died of Ebola and her infant son was diagnosed with the virus in the first confirmed cases in DR Congo's South Kivu province, reviving fears Friday the highly ...
- Op-Ed: Should you be worried about Ebola? It depends on where you liveon August 16, 2019 at 11:00 am
The latest outbreak of the deadly hemorrhagic virus Ebola has claimed more than 1,800 lives in Congo and been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health ...
- Ebola spread to new Congo area shows flawed response - aid workerson August 16, 2019 at 10:05 am
DAKAR, Aug 16 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Ebola's spread to a new part of Democratic Republic of Congo is a disturbing sign that health workers are failing to keep track of high-risk people on ...
- Mother dies of Ebola in Congo's South Kivu province, baby under careon August 16, 2019 at 8:53 am
A 24-year-old woman has died after contracting Ebola in the South Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to the World Health Organization. Her 7-month-old son, who is also ...
- Ebola Could Be Eradicated — But Only if the World Works Togetheron August 16, 2019 at 8:44 am
The editorial board represents the opinions of the board, its editor and the publisher. It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section. A health worker wearing protective gear attends to a ...
- First Two Ebola Cases Confirmed in Congo's South Kivu-Officialson August 16, 2019 at 6:25 am
GOMA, Congo — A woman and her child were the first two cases confirmed with Ebola in Congo's South Kivu region this week, opening a new front in the fight against the outbreak. Health officials said ...
- Congo says its year-long Ebola outbreak has spread to a new province, with two cases confirmed in South Kivuon August 16, 2019 at 5:26 am
KINSHASA, Congo — Congo says its year-long Ebola outbreak has spread to a new province, with two cases confirmed in South Kivu . Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material ...
via Bing News