After HINI, swine fly, it is the turn of new influenza to gather some publicity. As per the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a new influenza virus that infects bats has been detected in yellow-shouldered bats in Guatemala.
A group of American and Guatemalan researchers said that they have isolated the virus from the fruit eating bat, but it will be too early to tell that whether or not the virus attacks humans. Ruben Donis, who was one of the researchers, said that the virus belongs to Influenza A family.
It not only attacks bats, but can also be found in pigs, horses, seals and whales and it would be no surprise if it is found in humans as well. Donis assured that the virus will not spread among humans as it has been detected in bats, which are not known to pass on the disease in humans.
There have been many diseases from which bats suffer, but it has been quite a rare chance when they have passed disease to humans. Donis said that bats’ long wings make them capable to fly long distances and also make them well equipped to acquire and spread viruses.
The research is one of its kinds, in which the study researchers have evidence of flu in bats and it is also the first ever case in which flu has been spotted in winged mammals. Donis said that they cannot take the detected flu too lightly as it can create pandemic if it gets mixed with other common influenza.
"Most people are fairly convinced we had already discovered flu in all the possible animals”, said he. However, it is not true as when they assessed more than 300 bats in last year, they found new virus on the bats, which shows that virus keep on evolving.