As if things weren't bad enough, infectious disease experts at the Hong Kong University discovered that rats are infecting humans with a new strain of hepatitis, as footage filmed Friday and Saturday shows.
Researchers still don't know how the virus jumps from rodents to humans, but believe people are getting infected through food or water contaminated with rats feces.
«Humans usually get... Еще hepatitis either by eating contaminated food or water that actually contains the virus. So, in a place like Hong Kong, most of the hepatitis is actually transmitted from pork,» explained Dr Siddharth Sridhar, a microbiologist at the University of Hong Kong and one of the researchers who first discovered rat HEV in people.
Sridhar also pointed out that an intermediate animal could be responsible for passing the virus from rats to people, as is suspected with the COVID-19.
Comparing rat HEV to coronavirus, he added: «The virus jumps from bats to the intermediate animal and from there it spreads to humans. What this intermediate animal is we are still uncertain.» Sridhar stressed that this kind of virus can adapt to humans extremely efficiently.
The first case of rat HEV was reported in Hong Kong in 2018, but at least 10 more people reportedly tested positive since then. The last person to be infected was a 61-year-old man who was hospitalised with abnormal liver function at the end of April.