Readers ask about bat viruses and coronavirus

Friday, April 24, 2020 - 09:30 in Health & Medicine

Going viral Bats’ immune defenses let the animals safely carry viruses, such as Marburg and Ebola, that can cause deadly outbreaks in people, Erin Garcia de Jesus reported in “Why bat viruses are so dangerous” (SN: 3/14/20, p. 7). Reader Lori J. Stratton wondered how viruses from bats spread to humans. Viruses can spill over from bats into people in a variety of ways, says Garcia de Jesus. People can contract Ebola and Marburg by eating infected bats, eating produce contaminated with infected bat saliva or urine, or through other contact with infected bats’ bodily fluids, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The winged mammals also can transmit the viruses to chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys and other animals, which can then infect people.  Reader Fauzi Saleem wondered if an amino acid from bat milk could be used to treat people with COVID-19. Bats can transmit immune proteins, which are made of amino acids,...

Read the whole article on

More from

Latest Science Newsletter

Get the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!

Check out our next project, Biology.Net