Bats are the carriers of many deadly diseases. They are the perfect host mammal for viruses. Some scientists believe bats are the reason for many outbreaks in the last twenty years. Humans in direct contact with bats or indirect contact with bats through food consumption are the ways in which these viruses have been transmitted.
Furthermore, scientists believe bats are the origin of many new viruses. Their environments and habitats may trigger an evolution. The process of evolution can lead to new viruses.
Bats can be very dangerous to us. If you have any bats infesting your home, then remove them as soon as possible. They pose a threat to you and your family's health. These are just a few of the many viruses that live within bats.
Why aren't these viruses deadly to bats?
These lethal viruses are not deadly to bats. Scientists theorize that bats have developed a strong immunity throughout the years. They have an antiviral immunity that is known as the sting-interferon. Bats have a defense against these viruses without activating their immune systems. Unfortunately, us humans do not have a defense as strong as bats.
Fruit Bats of the Pteropdidae are natural hosts of the Ebola virus. Ebola spreads from contact with infected animals or humans. It is one of the deadliest diseases in the world. Ebola has a very high mortality rate. Some strains of the virus have a mortality rate of 90%.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a contagious, respiratory, and sometimes fatal illness. The disease is caused by a strain of the coronavirus. The disease first appeared in 2002. However, there have not been any reports of SARS since 2004.
Bats may be the origin of the SARS virus. The winged creatures carry a strain of the coronavirus. Their viral strains could have produced the ancestor of the virus. Horseshoe bats are the source of the SARS epidemic in southern China.
Bat droppings are a major hazard because they can infect people with diseases. These droppings contain spores that may infect people with Histoplasmosis. Histoplasmosis is a lung disease caused by spores that are inhaled by people.
Marburg virus is a very deadly disease with an 88% mortality rate. The disease causes hemorrhagic fever. It is in the same family as the Ebola virus.
The Egyptian rousette bat from West Africa is the natural host of the Marburg virus. The best suggestion to avoid the virus is by avoiding contact with bats in this region. Do not injure or kill them because droplets can lead to an infection. Furthermore, people should not eat bats. You would be eating a mammal with many viruses that could kill you.
Despite popular belief, most bats do not carry rabies. Only less than one percent of bats have rabies. However, there is a small possibility of a bat having it. Rabies is 100% fatal when a person experiences clinical symptoms.
Thankfully, we have a vaccine to protect ourselves from the virus. If you suspect to have been infected with Rabies from a bat, then seek medical attention. There is also post-exposure prophylaxis to treat anyone who has been exposed to Rabies.
Diseases transfer from bats to other mammals by bites. If you are ever directly infected by a bat, then it is most likely due to a bite. Bats do not purposely salivate on people. They prefer to stay away from humans. Seek medical attention if you believe to have been bitten.
In addition, bats as food are extremely dangerous to eat. As already stated, they carry many zoonotic diseases and are dangerous foods. It is illegal to eat bats in certain countries due to the health risk. It may lead to a pandemic in a community.
Protection from Diseases from Bats
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), humans need to limit their contact with animals like bats. They can infect us with dangerous viruses. To further protect ourselves from possible diseases, food needs to be thoroughly cooked before consumption.
It is impossible to create a vaccine in advanced to prevent outbreaks of new viruses from bats. These deadly viruses come in contact with people because the animals on your plates were infected by bats. The best option is for scientists to continue to study the connections and interactions in nature. Scientists can learn more about viruses and their evolution within bats. Society will be better prepared for future viruses by studying our world.