"Can Humans Give Coronavirus to Bats, and Other Wildlife?"

"Federal agencies suggest caution in U.S. bat research to avoid transmitting the novel coronavirus to wildlife."

"Many people worry about bats as a source of viruses, including the one that has caused a worldwide pandemic. But another question is surfacing: Could humans pass the novel coronavirus to wildlife, specifically North American bats?

It may seem like the last pandemic worry right now, far down the line after concerns about getting sick and staying employed. But as the spread of the novel coronavirus has made clear, the more careful we are about viruses passing among species, the better off we are.

The scientific consensus is that the virus originated in bats in China or neighboring countries. A recent paper tracing the genetic lineage of the novel virus found evidence that it probably evolved in bats into its current form. The researchers also concluded that either this coronavirus or others that could make the jump to humans are likely present in bat populations now — we just haven’t found them yet."

James Gorman reports for the New York Times August 1, 2020.

Source: NYTimes, 08/04/2020