Scientists have finally been able to trace the origins of the deadly Ebola outbreak back to a single family in Guinea who contracted the virus after dining on a local favorite: bat. A two-year-old child from the village of Gueckedou in south-eastern Guinea became infected with Ebola after eating bush meat which his family had hunted. Bats are frequently hunted and eaten by area locals.
This initial Ebola patient, referred to as “Child Zero,” died on December 6, 2013. The toddler’s family stated that they had hunted two species of bat which carry the Ebola virus. Doctors Without Borders revealed the species to be Hypsignatus monstrosus and Epomops franqueti.
The fact that bat is a staple of West African diets has amplified the struggle to contain the Ebola virus. Bat colonies migrate across vast distances, passing the virus amongst themselves and then onto humans who eat their meat. Additionally, bats may not be the only carriers of the Ebola virus, as some scientists have pointed out.
This news comes on the heels of an admission from the World Health Organization that the initial response to the Ebola outbreak was botched by their incompetent staff, leading to massive death tolls in West Africa.
It doesn’t look as though this narrative will have a happy ending, as reports continue to get worse and worse. To you think the discovery of the source of the Ebola outbreak will help scientists and medical crews contain the virus? Give us your take in the comments section.
H/T: Mad World News