Meet The Virus Hunters Chasing Bats To Prevent Future Pandemic

A Japanese-funded research hopes to catch and study the various species of bats to help in predicting the dynamics of a coronavirus.

ZEE5 Web Desk

March 25, 2021

Trending News

2 min

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A group of researchers have taken prevention of yet another pandemic as their motto and is currently on the hunt for a new virus. Wearing headlamps and protective suits, the group has been catching and swabbing thousands of bats in the Laguna province of the Philippines. On the search for other strains of coronavirus, these researchers who call themselves the ‘virus hunters’, hope to help the world avoid another pandemic.

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The group is out in the dense forest of the Philippines on the lookout for bats. The tiny animals caught with nets are carefully checked, measured and swabbed. The group researches on the saliva and faecal matter collected from the bats and let them back into the wild. The studies held on each of these bats are logged and the analysis are being studied thoroughly by the group.

The “virus hunters”, are currently tasked with catching thousands of bats. The group consisting of environmentalists and scientists plans to develop a simulation model to help the world understand and avoid a pandemic like the COVID-19, which caused millions of deaths. Ideated from the University of the Philippines Los Banos, the model is Japanese-funded and plans to be fully developed over the next three years. The study which will majorly take place in the thick rainforests of the province plans to predict the dynamics of a coronavirus by analysing the various factors affecting it, including climate and temperature.

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The highly motivated group plans to study and learn which of the 1,300 species of bats are most susceptible to infections and also find the reasons behind the same. The researchers go in highly protected wearing protective suits, masks and gloves as a precaution against catching viruses.

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