Virulence of Bats-Caused Diseases

Published on – June 28, 2020 – 11:55 pm

If we look deep into the history of virus-led diseases, we will come to know that the bats have largely contributed in dispersing the virus-led diseases all across the globe. The story goes that the prevalent coronavirus is not the only virus that has prospered through bats but in the distant past one can also run across the other virus-led diseases which were caused by bats. All the same, it is believed that the bats infect first the different animals and then begin thinning out the virus which produces the diseases. Similarly, the current virus, originated in Wuhan – a region of China, infected first the animals and the chickens as well.

Equally, the year of 1967 had witnessed the Marburg virus in Germany which was met to be the cause of bats. Correspondingly, the year of 2014 had witnessed the outburst of Ebola virus in West Africa and this can also be found to have bat roosts in trees, buildings and caves. Besides, Nipah virus which shared out the havoc in India in 2018 and claimed the lives of multiple people, was caused by the fruit bat.

A report appeared in ‘The Spectator’ also confirms that bats are the mammals which are one of the major causes behind the spread of these terminal viruses. The bodies of both humans and bat are “sufficiently related” to the flourishing of viruses.

For donkeys’ years, humans have settled an immunity against diseases such as tuberculosis measles, smallpox, and anthrax caused by domesticated animals like dogs, cows and pigs. Moreover, unlike other mammals like tigers, bats have also a preference to live in large colonies. Consequently, they lay on viruses which have the potential to spread like a bat out of hell.

In addition, a study entitled ‘Accelerated viral dynamics in bat cell lines, with implications for zoonotic emergence’, confirms that these viruses have also been good at getting dispersed briskly from cell to cell so to counter the immune system of bats.

This, however, ascertains to be even more perilous to mammals which have not established a strong immune system by the same token yet.

Kevin Olival, a disease ecologist with Eco Health Alliance in New York City, declared, “we can learn a lot from bats about their immune system and take some of that information to think over the development of our own therapeutics and about our own health.”

The question in the long run is; how detrimental is the virus? Some quarters might secure the answer to this question by estimating the death rate but in my capacity of a working writer, the death rate is not the only decisive factor for the detrimental and terminal virus (in general).

Though, the 1918 flu pandemic killed off the hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. So, the Ebola, and 1918 flu pandemics have all helped out public health officials get ready for major outbreaks so are different per se yet, and these officials have a tough time forecasting how they will end.

Moreover, the upshot of such disease largely subjects to other situations — how spreadable and terminal it is, how germ-free people are, and how soon a vaccine or cure is made available.

However, as all and sundry knows that new cases of the COVID-19 are increasing day by day and it is natural to draw a comparison between the new disease to other outbreaks in recent history. Dr. Mark Schleiss – a pediatric infectious disease specialist with the University of Minnesota – said that this flu was novel for people mostly under the age bracket of 40 and 50. So the 1918 flu had well-nigh infected a third of the world’s population, that was poles apart from the usual flu, until it was died out. Then in 2009 and 2014, the other frightening viruses like H1N1 influenza and Ebola respectively that were seen nowhere in that these all the viruses were got successfully controlled.

On the contrary, the coronavirus has been inflicting people for long at the alarming rate and the whirlwind ups and downs in the cases have been witnessing the terminal threat of the virus. The message “stay home stay safe” is the only panacea right now for the disease. In my view, this message matches exactly with the prescriptions the doctors or even religion offers stating “prevention is better than cure.” The plot thickens day by day, but people lose it (the plot).

The Writer is the Editor of “The Sindh Line” Magazine. He can be reachhed at