Even if you are still a teenager you are probably aware that there has been several serious diseases that have gripped certain parts of the world during the past few decades. These diseases include SARS, Ebola, MERS, and that is just naming a few. These diseases had terrible social and economic effects in certain areas of the globe. Now, in an effort to notify humans as to where the next disease hotspot is, researchers have mapped out certain areas where a bat to human disease transmission is likely.
With all the diseases in the world it may seem strange to be picking on bats, but bats are common disease carrying animals. Not only that, but up to seventy five percent of emerging infections in the world are transmitted from animals to humans. Most diseases get their start in animals, and these diseases are known as zoonotic diseases.
Bats are particularly interesting to researchers because bats carry many zoonotic diseases and many different, and well-known diseases that were first found in bats. For example, SARS, MERS, Ebola and rabies are all devastating diseases that originated in bats, and were transmitted by bats to humans. Amazingly, bats are the only mammals that are capable of flight, and bats are so successful that they account for twenty percent of all mammalian species.
The consumption of bat meat is believed to be responsible for the spreading of SARS. However, bats do not need to transmit a disease directly to a human. Often times other animals are used as hosts for bat-borne disease. So the transmission of disease is not always passed from a bat directly to a human. Camels were believed to be the link between bats and the disease in humans known as MERS. The most at risk regions in the world are mostly located on the continent of Africa.
Have you ever know someone that had sustained a bite from a bat? If you have, did that person go to the hospital?