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Thai scientists catch bats to trace coronavirus origins

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Preliminary analysis has already pointed to bats because the supply of the coronavirus that has stricken greater than 5 million folks within the U.S.

KANCHANABURI, Thailand — Editor’s be aware: The video above was from WBIR in Nashville on July 31.

Researchers in Thailand have been trekking although the countryside to catch bats of their caves in an effort to hint the murky origins of the coronavirus.

Preliminary analysis has already pointed to bats because the supply of the virus that has stricken greater than 20.5 million folks and prompted the deaths of over 748,000 worldwide, in response to Johns Hopkins College information. The closest match to the coronavirus has been present in horseshoe bats in Yunnan in southern China.

Thailand has 19 species of horseshoe bats however researchers mentioned they haven’t but been examined for the brand new coronavirus.

Thai researchers hiked up a hill in Sai Yok Nationwide Park within the western province of Kanchanaburi to arrange nets to entice some 200 bats from three completely different caves.

The crew from the Thai Purple Cross Rising Infectious Ailments-Well being Science Heart took saliva, blood and stool samples from the bats earlier than releasing them. They labored by means of the evening and into the following day, taking samples not solely from horseshoe bats but in addition from different bat species they caught as a way to higher perceive pathogens carried by the animals.

The crew was headed by Supaporn Wacharapluesadee, the middle’s deputy chief, who has studied bats and ailments related to them for greater than 20 years. He was a part of the group that helped Thailand affirm the primary COVID-19 case exterior China in January.

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She believes it’s probably they’ll discover in Thailand’s bats the identical virus that causes COVID-19.

“The pandemic is borderless,” she mentioned. “The illness can journey with bats. It might go wherever.”

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