Bats are reservoirs of many microorganisms responsible for infectious diseases. One such is a type of virus called filovirus, which causes severe haemorrhagic fever in humans and primates.
We know of ten different varieties of filoviruses, including Ebola, the Marburg virus and the Mengla virus.
In South and Southeast Asia, there is no historical record of filovirus haemorrhagic outbreaks. A new study presents the first evidence of filovirus exposure in humans (apart from Reston virus transmission in the Philippines) in this region. The study states that humans likely acquired the infection from bats.