The deadly Ebola virus has been found in a bat in Liberia, researchers and the health ministry said on Thursday.
National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) director general Tolbert Nyenswah told newsmen in the capital Monrovia that scientists of Liberia’s health ministry and NPHIL detected the Zaire Ebola virus in one bat.
“To date, all other bats have tested negative. The finding was nonetheless significant, as researchers believe it suggests that bats may be a natural host for Ebola.
“Researchers believe it was likely that bats in other parts of Africa were also carrying the Ebola virus,’’ Nyenswah said.
According to the director general, ongoing studies will examine whether more bats are infected and how bats spread the virus.
Ebola, a highly infectious disease that causes a fever, often leads to massive internal bleeding and fatalities.
During the last major Ebola outbreak in 2014, 11,000 people died when the virus spread across the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.