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Concern raised over harmful bacteria from cave bats

Thorough medical check-ups await the 12 young footballers and their coach as soon as they’re rescued from the Chiang Rai cave after local health authorities expressed concern about the possible risk of contracting a virus from bats.


Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital is prepared to evaluate the rescued group and 13 medical teams, one for each of the missing, are poised to accompany them there from the cave entrance.

The hospital has readied a separate zone to examine the 13 football team members and provide treatment as necessary, Chiang Rai Public Health Office chief Dr Tossathep Boonthong said on Monday.

Tossathep noted that scientific surveys had found potentially harmful bacteria in the droppings of cave-dwelling bats, and Tham Luang Cave where the rescue mission is underway had never been surveyed.

He said the Disease Control Department planned to collect and analyse samples of the bats’ droppings from Tham Luang once the missing party was rescued.
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