Less lethal Ebola virus found in Kenya

Different type of Ebola

Medics gear up before interacting with Ebola patients in a West African State (CNN)

Researchers have discovered a new and less lethal type of the deadly Ebola virus in Kenya.

The new strain dubbed Bombali Ebola virus is yet to cross over to the human populations with scientists skeptical that it is a possibility.

The findings published by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention Journal outlined that the new virus is being carried by Angolan free-tailed bats in Taita Taveta.

Patients screened in Taita Taveta

The project was carried out jointly by Maasai Mara University, University of Nairobi and University of Helsinki.

Paul Webala, a member of the Maasai Mara University contributors, conveyed that patients who have come into contact with the bats have been screened with no indication of infection.

Noting that Ebola has previously been found among wildlife in Kenya, Webala stated that it is unlikely that people would get infected.

"Given the vast distance between Sierra Leone and Kenya and that the bat species involved is not believed to travel large distances, there is no danger of infection," the researcher stated.

"Until recently, five ebolavirus species were known, with three of these -- Bundibugyo, Sudan and Zaire ebolaviruses -- associated with large human outbreaks. The latter is responsible for the devastating 2013-16 outbreak in West Africa and the ongoing outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"However, the reservoirs of ebolaviruses have remained enigmatic, though fruit bats have been implicated and demonstrated as the reservoir for related Marburg virus.

"Last year a sixth Ebola virus species, Bombali virus, was found in saliva and faeces from bats in Sierra Leone," the report read in part.


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