Bats started it all—researchers
While a lot about the virus is still unknown, part of the answer to that mystery, according to several researchers in an article in Women's Health published online by Yahoo, may have to do with an animal more commonly thought of as an important part of any good Halloween decoration display—the bat. The novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan City in the central province of Hubei in China has spread across the globe, including Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines, and is described as the product of natural evolution, according to findings them, quoting the journal Nature Medicine. Word from researchers How did bats get the novel coronavirus in the first place? It's unclear exactly how bats picked up novel coronavirus, but researchers do know they carry it and are the reason it's been passed on to humans. COVID-19 is a zoonotic disease, which means it is caused by an animal virus that has been picked up by humans, explains Richard J. Kuhn, PhD, a professor of biological sciences at Purdue University. By Kuhn’s estimate, about 80 percent of viruses that exist are zoonotic viruses, and they work in both directions: animals can pass them to humans, and humans can pass them back to animals. The novel coronavirus that caused this current outbreak comes from a family of zoonotic viruses. Viruses from this family have been passed to humans from animals before and usually result in cold- and flu-like respiratory symptoms for humans. But the illnesses they cause can also lead to death in animals, according to a study from the University of California, Berkeley. However, researchers have found that when bats contract these viruses, their particularly strong immune systems prevent them from getting sick or dying from the infections. This means they can continue to carry and pass on the virus, whereas other animals that contract it may get sick and die, and therefore are less likely to pass it on.