In recent times, there have been many questions about the relationship between bats and the coronavirus. To answer these, we have compiled the latest news that has involved the work of various members of SECEMU.
SECEMU member, representative of our Health Commission and researcher Juan E. Echevarría of the Spanish Centre for Microbiology of the Carlos III Institute of Health in Madrid was recently interviewed by CNN en Español (Spanish language CNN) and is available to watch below. In it, he stresses that bats are not to blame for the current pandemic and that the benefits these animals bring to the ecosystem are far greater than the risks. In this #EncuentroDigitalCNN program they also discuss the issue of the next threat to society, which could be a sister virus of SARS-CoV-2 with a high transmission potential.
For more information click here (in Spanish): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoACNVYoP24.
You can also listen to the news from the RTVE Reserva Natural program by Juan E. Echevarría together with our Vice President and researcher at the Doñana Biological Station (EBD-CSIC) in Seville, Javier Juste, where they talk about how bats are also victims of this pandemic (in Spanish): https://www.rtve.es/alacarta/audios/reserva-natural/reserva-natural-murcielagos-victimas-tambien-pandemia-10-06-20/5594159/.
You can also read about this in the online article by The Conversation: http://secemu.org/en/los-murcielagos-las-otras-victimas-del-sars-cov-2/.
In addition, you can see webinars such as the one of Javier Juste in Murciélagos de Tlaxcala (Mexico), so that the information can reach to everyone. In the first part, he talks about some frequently asked questions about SARS CoV-2 and bats; and in the second part, more reliable information about the virus, why the conservation of bats and why their importance. You can also watch another very interesting webinar: “Separating fact from fiction”, in English and organized by Bats without Borders, with three speakers of great international impact such as Wanda Markotter, Kirsty Park and Ricardo Rocha, the latter member also from SECEMU. On the Bats without Borders YouTube channel you can find other videos of interest about bats, the ecosystem benefits they provide and their need for conservation.