How A Witch Hunt for So-Called Emerging Diseases in Bats
Threatens Both Public and Environmental Health
By Merlin Tuttle
So-called emerging diseases are not new. They’ve been around for millions of years, only recently being discovered due to their rarity. In the past 20 years, SARS, Hendra, Nipa, Marburg, Ebola and MERS combined have accounted for fewer than 20,000 human deaths worldwide.
Many efforts to link scary diseases to bats as reservoirs are based on little more than premature speculation under misleading titles. Unfortunately, often repeated speculation is rapidly becoming widely accepted as fact, implying bats to rank among our planet’s most dangerous animals. This has diverted unprecedented funding from far higher public health and bat research priorities, simultaneously reversing decades of conservation progress in helping people overcome unfounded fear of bats.
Contrary to sensational, grant-getting speculation, in reality bats have one of our planet’s finest track records of living safely with humans.
For documented details please read this overview of what’s behind exaggerated disease warnings beginning with Ebola.