The reason for the emergence of the new coronavirus sars-cov-2 is not people who drink direct bat soup. Because the virus cannot be hosted by the acids in the digestive system of people. The real reason; An animal bitten by a bat (although not certain: pangolin) is seen as catching the virus from the bat and infecting it in close contact with humans in the livestock market.
Bats or fruit bats, shown as the source of the virus, evolved early and showed relatively little change compared to many other mammals. Viruses also evolved with bats during this time period.
They usually feed on fruit or by sucking blood from animals. There are thousands of viruses in their feces, urine and mouths. However, these viruses do not kill them. They use viruses as a means of defense for themselves. They protect their habitats against foreigners by using viruses.
What is the reason why bats are mentioned with viruses? Bats; The source of many zoonotic factors such as rabies, hanta and sars. All living forms in the world contain viruses; Bats are no exception. One fourth of the mammal species in the world are bats. Millions of fruit bats can coexist in just one cave.
Bats live in large colonies, their perching behavior and the conditions of their environments facilitate the spread of disease factors. Their ability to fly also allows them to transmit factors to different species.
They hibernate the periods when they are not found insects. It makes this hibernation behavior daily in bats in more temperate regions. They reduce their body temperature down to outdoor temperature during rest hours, slowing their metabolism and saving serious energy.
In fact, this feature is also an opportunity for viruses. In this way, they have the opportunity to quickly reproduce in the blood of flying bats. Small mammals that feed on insects are known for their short lives. However, this does not apply to bats. Bats can have a lifetime of over 25 years.
During these lifetimes, it can transmit viral factors they carry to their offspring, individuals of their own species and other species. Bats’ immune systems are no different from other species. The incubation times of viruses may vary from species to species. Viruses can be found in the creature it contains for a long time without any symptoms.
These new types of viruses have always been in bats. So why did it appear now?
Because with the rapid population growth and global warming, we entered the places where we should not enter nature. We destroyed and destroyed the habitats of bats and many other species. This is precisely why we have been exposed to epidemics such as zika, ebola, sars, mers, etc., especially in the last 30 years.
Protecting the living environments of flying bat and all other creatures is actually the primary way to protect ourselves from these outbreaks. As long as city life and wildlife are intertwined, we may encounter new disease factors that we do not know existed and the effect is more destructive.