The Associated Press reports that scientists have found evidence of a never-before-seen flu in bats, and the risk to mankind could be grave.
The influenza virus is common in humans, birds, pigs and a handful of other species, but this surprising discovery in bats has scientists baffled. Most were convinced we had already identified all species that could possibly serve as host to the flu.
The bats in questions don’t normally bite people. However, researchers say they could still transmit the virus by touching fruit and other produce that then gets picked for human consumption.
This strain of flu is so mysterious that scientists have not been able to recreate it in the lab, a key step towards developing an effective vaccine. The real danger lies in the potential of the bat flu to genetically fuse with the more common bird or swine strains to become a deadly new virus altogether.
Though influenza in bats doesn’t serve as direct evidence of the coming zombie pandemic, it’s just another disturbing example of disease mutation, animal-to-human viral threats, and how little we really know about the world around us.
What animal do you think might ultimately bring the zombie plague to mankind’s front door?