.Science / Health
3 Species of Fruit Bat Found to Harbor Deadly Ebola Virus
"Researchers working in Gabon and Congo have identified three species of fruit bat as the long-sought reservoirs of one of the deadliest known human pathogens, the Ebola virus.

The team tested more than 1,000 bats and other animals before tracing the virus to fruit bats, which are commonly eaten by people in Central Africa, according to a report in today's issue of the journal Nature.

Researchers found minute genetic traces of the virus in 22.6% of the bats tested. More important, they found that the virus produces no symptoms in infected bats, thus allowing it to spread without disabling its carrier, said lead researcher Eric Leroy, an immunologist with the International Center for Medical Research in Gabon.

Dr. Sanford Kuvin, head of tropical infectious diseases at Israel's Hebrew University, said the study provided strong evidence of Ebola's presence in bats and should prompt people in the region to 'avoid contact with the creatures at all costs.'"

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