Sometime in the middle of October each year, the Bomrr clan in Nagaland rush to the caves in Mimi village. With a good stock of burning firewood, men and women are ready for the bat harvest festival—an annual ritual where anywhere between 7,000 to 25,000 bats are suffocated or smashed to their deaths. These bats, the clan believes, have medicinal properties and can cure diseases like diarrhoea and body ache, and increase vigour. Now, a new study has shown that these bats, rather than being a cure to diseases, carry deadly filoviruses that could infect humans.
Avian malaria or bird malaria has been linked to significant declines in captive and wild birds, such as penguins and Hawaiian forest birds. Common blood parasites, like Plasmodium that spread through mosquitoes and Haemoproteus that are transmitted through louse flies and biting midges, cause the disease in birds.
India, the world’s capital of diabetes, has an escalating diabetes epidemic. Diabetes, a non-communicable disease, affects about 8.7% Indians today, and this number is predicted to hit 70 million by 2025 and 80 million by 2030. Although the exact reasons for this rapid rise in diabetes in the country are not yet clear, experts blame it on multiple factors. In a recent study, researchers from the USA, Germany and India have investigated the status of diabetic care among Indian adults. The findings, published in the journal BMC Medicine, present a grim picture of diabetes management in different states and socio-demographic groups in India.
Visceral leishmaniasis, or kala-azar, is an insidious disease that affects thousands of people every year. This illness can be fatal, if not diagnosed and treated on time. However, despite best efforts, India still lags behind in eliminating this disease completely. A recent study published in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases has investigated the factors that lead to the delayed diagnosis and treatment of kala-azar.