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
- West African health ministers in joint fight against Ebolaon March 4, 2021 at 1:59 am
Ministers of Health from Guinea – which is combating a new Ebola outbreak – and neighbouring countries have agreed on a unified front to combat the virus that re-emerged about three weeks ago.
- Concerned about the spread of Ebola, CDC lays out new rules for travelers from Congo, Guineaon March 3, 2021 at 10:54 pm
Beginning March 4, health officials will require travelers from he Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Guinea to provide contact information. Officials will also begin directing flights ...
- JFK, Newark among airports to handle flights from African countries with Ebola outbreakson March 3, 2021 at 11:09 am
Flights into the US from two African countries with recent Ebola outbreaks will now be exclusively funneled through six airports — including JFK and Newark — to better track and stop ...
- Travelers from 2 countries with Ebola outbreaks arriving at Newark, JFK airports to face additional screeningon March 3, 2021 at 5:52 am
Centers for Disease Control officials will require airlines to collect and report information from travelers coming to the U.S. from Congo and Guinea.
- As Ebola spreads in Africa, CDC requires airlines to collect contact information on travelers from DRC, Guineaon March 2, 2021 at 11:55 am
The CDC announced it’s requiring airlines to collect contact information for travelers from the DRC and Guinea. The move comes as global health officials race to respond to two separate Ebola ...
- U.S. CDC adopts rules for DRC, Guinea travelers over Ebola concernson March 2, 2021 at 10:40 am
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued new public health requirements for U.S. visitors who have recently been in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) or Guinea that ...
- U.S. to monitor air travelers from African nations with Ebolaon March 2, 2021 at 9:31 am
(HealthDay)—Air travelers arriving in the United States from two African nations where the Ebola virus is starting to circulate will be channeled to six airports beginning this week, the U.S. Centers ...
- A recent Ebola outbreak puts Guinea’s “muscle memory” to the teston March 2, 2021 at 1:03 am
New reports Guinea are causing anxiety given the history of the west Africa outbreak of 2014-2016. This was the largest Ebola outbreak reported to date—28,000 cases were recorded, including 11,000 ...
- Three new Ebola cases confirmed in Congo, two in Guineaon March 1, 2021 at 9:59 am
Three new cases of Ebola have been confirmed in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, bringing to 11 the number of cases since authorities declared a resurgence of the virus last month. In a ...
via Bing News