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Crowned bats captured, studied as possible Covid-19 carriers

Jack Burton

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Crowned bats captured, studied as possible Covid-19 carriers | The Thaiger
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Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, and the Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases, are researching whether Thailand’s “crowned bats” could carry or transmit the Covid-19coronavirus. The chief of the department’s wildlife health management section says they went to a cave in in the eastern province of Chanthaburi, home to millions of the bats, to capture more than 100 of them on Thursday, to take samples of their blood, saliva and droppings for lab tests.

More about zoonotic diseases from the US CDC HERE.

He says there are about 23 types of crowned bats in Thailand, and this is the first time that they’ve been captured for tests. During the expedition, officials met with community leaders, teachers and students to educate them on how they can safely coexist with the bats and the risks of being infected if they eat bat meat.

A researcher at the Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases at Chulalongkorn hospital, who was the first to identify Covid-19 in Thailand, says it’s necessary to study the bats because the strain of coronavirus in China is reportedly the same as that found in the local crowned bat species.

Although research on viruses in various species of bats has been underway for almost 2 decades in Thailand, she says crowned bats have not yet been studied.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Thai PBS World

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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