Scientists focus on bats for clues to prevent next pandemic

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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Teams of researchers around the globe are now racing to study the places and species from which the next pandemic may emerge.

Even as the world struggles with the devastation of COVID-19, scientists say this pandemic likely won’t be the last.

It’s no coincidence that many scientists are focusing attention on the world’s only flying mammals — bats.

Viruses that emerge from bats are more lethal in humans than those from other species.

Scientists are probing the mysteries of bat immune systems and investigating strategies to minimize contact between humans and livestock with bats and other wild animals.

Many scientists believe bats were linked to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Their unique immune system protects them against the viruses they may carry.

Researchers says rather than vilifying bats, the focus should be on protecting their wild habitats to minimize interactions.

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