Sunday, March 4, 2012

New influenza in bats

A new strain of influenza A virus was identified in 316 yellow-shouldered bats. It's the first time that an influenza virus was found in bats. Given the history of bat-origin emerging infectious diseases, the possibilities of this virus crossing over to humans is frightening. However, authorities believe that it's not transmissible to humans. The yellow-shouldered bats in which the virus is identified in do not bite humans, feed on fruits, and is native to Central and South America.

Reading this article reminded me of the beginning of a new "Contagiou-like" movie. Because the short time since the identification of this virus hasn't permitted a comprehensive study to be done on the transmissbility potential of the virus, I am skeptical in the authorities' claim that the virus would not transmit to humans. Only time will tell!

Michelle Jin

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