Misunderstood bats getting a bad rap due to coronavirus, says Winnipeg biologist

A University of Winnipeg biologist who runs the school’s bat lab says the flying mammals are getting a bad rap due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Craig Willis, the U of W’s “bat prof,” told 680 CJOB that COVID-19 fears have caused people to worry unnecessarily about bats due to persistent reports that they might be the source of the virus.

“I think it’s been widely reported that an ancestor of SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that’s causing COVID-19 — probably came from bats,” he said.

“It’s closely related to a bat coronavirus from the Chinese horseshoe bat. There was probably another species in between bats and people, but that doesn’t stop folks worrying, I think, about bats as a source of viruses.

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