Scientists catch bats to trace origins of COVID-19 in Thailand
Scientists in Thailand are scouring caves to catch bats in an effort to trace the origins of the coronavirus.
The research team trekked up a hill to set up nets at Sai Yok National Park in the western province of Kanchanaburiand to trap some 200 bats from three different caves, according to Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Diseases-Health Science Center.
They then took saliva, blood and stool samples from the mammals in order to better understand the pathogens they carry.
The coronavirus outbreak was suspected to have emerged from bats in China, though the research team believes that they may also find the virus among those in Thailand.
The closest match to COVID-19 so far was found in horseshoe bats in Yunnan in southern China.
Many of the bats captured by the Thai researchers were horseshoe bats, as the country is home to 19 different species of them.
Supaporn Wacharapluesadee, the center’s deputy chief, said she believes the bats will likely test positive for the virus since “the pandemic is borderless.”
“The disease can travel with bats. It could go anywhere,” she said.
With Post wires
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