- Scientists have issued out a new warning, stating that the disease that has been killing elephants in Bostwana could become contagious to humans
- Though the virus is yet to be identified, elephants have been spotted dying mysteriously after they appeared befuddled and fell
- There is presently a possibility that they were poisoned or poached but no one can say for certain until results of samples are known
Scientists have warned that the new and yet-to-be-identified disease killing African elephants in Bostwana could start affecting humans if care is not taken.
Sun UK reports that the virus has killed a total of 400 elephants in Okavango Delta since May 2020.
An aerial shot has shown the massive carcasses of elephants doting the area. It shows that the unidentified pathogen is not affecting other animals.
Should humanity prepare for another outbreak?
According to the same media, before the elephants died, they always looked disoriented, wandered in circles, and hit the floor hard. Elephants of all ages have been affected since the issue was first reported.
Niall McCann, the director of National Park Rescue, said that such has never been seen in a very long time.
He said aside drought, he does not know anything that could affect elephants in such massive numbers, adding that “we are currently living with a zoonotic spillover event”.
"The absolute worst case is that this could turn into another one. It is incredibly important to rule out the prospect of this crossing over into people.
"Yes, it is a conservation disaster - but it also has the potential to be a public health crisis,” he said.
Test results could possibly say otherwise
Another thing worthy of note is that samples from the carcasses were taken to Zimbabwe for proper analysis.
Poaching and poisoning have been considered as a possible cause but experts cannot say for sure until results of the samples arrive.
When the Bostwana government contacted officials in other African countries like Angola, Namibia, and Zambia, they said they have not witnessed similar death.
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