Scientists suggest bats may have been carriers of Coronaviruses for years

A new research has suggested that bats may have been carriers of coronaviruses capable of infecting humans for decades.

According to scientists, the viruses which emerged in bats between 40 and 70 years ago have been poised for human crossover.

Prof David Robertson, of the University of Glasgow, worked on the study, published in the journal Nature Microbiology.

This casts further doubt on conspiracy theories that the virus causing Covid-19 was bioengineered or escaped from a laboratory, they added.

He said that while Sars-CoV-2 (the pandemic coronavirus) is genetically very close to the nearest known bat viruses, they are separated in time by several decades.

“That suggests that these viruses with potential to emerge in humans have been around for some time,” he told BBC News.

The work points to the need for further surveillance of emerging diseases in humans and to carry out more sampling within wild bat populations, if we are to prevent future pandemics, he said.

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