Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976, it was mistaken as a new strain of the Marburg virus that was known at that time. It was discovered afterwards that it was a completely different virus. Ebola virus has six known species. Four of which are known to be responsible of widespread epidemics, hence are fatal. Democratic Republic of Congo is the country where the Ebola virus was first known. When it was discovered that the virus they were mistaking as a new strain of Marburg was actually a completely different virus, they called the virus “Ebola” virus as the first outbreak occurred from the Ebola river.
On 26 July, the government of Sierra Leone announced that they had found a species of Ebola virus no one had ever heard of before. The species found is the sixth discovered species of an Ebola virus. Some researchers who were examining new viruses so that they are less chances of them spreading into the human population, by chance discovered the new Ebola virus in the District of northern Bombali. This species was found in two bats, one was an Angolan free-tailed bat and the other was a little free-tailed bat.
After researchers did a RNA analysis of the new Ebola virus, Tracey Goldstein claimed that it is definitely related to the old species of the Ebola virus. Another claim came from a pathologist named David who is basically on the virus-hunting predict project, from the University of California, that the new Ebola virus was quite different. So now there are two different claims from two professionals.
Goldstein and her team has announced that the Bombali virus has the ability to infect human cells, but if it can cause a disease in a person or not is still a mystery. This was known when Goldstein and her team found out that the Bombali virus had the machinery that is required to enter a human cell, but still no one knows if it can make the infected person sick.
The Reston virus is also a species of the Ebola virus. It effects the inhuman primates by sickening them. On the other hand, another species of the Ebola virus named Zaire virus is the cause behind some deadly epidemics. Democratic Republic of congo recently experienced an outbreak of the Zaire virus that was responsible of the deaths of 33 people. Earlier the spread of the Zaire virus across West Africa resulted in deaths of 11,000 people.
“We don’t really know where on the spectrum [the Bombali virus] stands,” Goldstein reported. PREDICT and its team are studying the new species of the Ebola virus(Bombali virus), they are also making efforts to educate people of the Bombali region to stay away from bats. Goldstein says, “I don’t think people should be alarmed.” This shows that the researchers have not found anything in the newly discovered Ebola virus that may cause a threat to the human population.