Thailand Researchers Trek Through Countryside To Catch Bats & Trace Origin Of Coronavirus
Researchers in Thailand are on a quest to find the origins of the coronavirus. They are trekking through the countryside to catch bats so that they can track down the origin of the virus.?
According to extensive research that has been done on the highly contagious virus which caused the recent pandemic, bats are the source of the virus. According to a report by India Today, the closest match to the coronavirus has been found in horseshoe bats in Yunnan in southern China.?
Thailand has a total of 19 species of horseshoe bats. However, researchers have revealed that they have not been tested for the new coronavirus.
The researchers went on a hike on a hill in Sai Yok National Park in the western province of Kanchanaburi to set up nets to trap about 200 bats from three different caves.?
A team of researchers from the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Diseases-Health Science Center took saliva, blood and stool samples from the bats. Samples were taken from not only horseshoe bats but also from other bat species which were caught so that the researchers have a better understanding of the pathogens carried by the animals.?
The team was headed by Supaporn Wacharapluesadee, the centre's deputy chief, who has studied bats and diseases associated with the species for more than two decades, and was also part of the group that helped Thailand confirm the first COVID-19 case outside China in January.?
She said, "The pandemic is borderless. The disease can travel with bats. It could go anywhere."
According to Johns Hopkins University data, the novel coronavirus has infected more than 20 million people and claimed over 700,000 lives worldwide.?