This cloud of bats in Thailand might assist us probe covid-19’s origins

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Photographer Adam Dean’s hanging shot of bats rising from a Thai cave highlights analysis into the important thing query of whether or not covid-19 originates in bats


24 March 2021

Adam Dean/Panos Footage Panos

Photographer Adam Dean

Company Panos Footage

THIS hanging picture by photojournalist Adam Dean reveals bats streaming out of Khao Chong Pran collapse Thailand at nightfall as researchers acquire people to review.


The cave, the most important of a number of in a cluster west of Bangkok, is a well-liked vacationer spot as a result of thousands and thousands of bats flock there to roost. Now scientists from Thailand’s Division of Nationwide Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation have gotten frequent guests, too.

Greater than a yr after covid-19 was labelled a pandemic, we’re nonetheless attempting to find definitively whether or not the SARS-CoV-2 virus originated in bats. Researchers are accumulating tissue samples from bats and checking native folks – a few of whom use bat droppings as fertiliser – for covid-19 antibodies. The viruses that trigger extreme acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Center East respiratory syndrome (MERS) got here from bats, and a virus just like SARS-CoV-2 was present in horseshoe bats in Cambodia and China in late 2020.

There are issues that urbanisation and agriculture are destroying or infringing on bat habitats, making the animals extra prone to viruses and rising the probabilities of them passing illnesses to us.

This picture is a part of Dean’s Bats and the Pandemic sequence, and gained him an award within the 78th Footage of the 12 months Worldwide competitors earlier this month.

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