Bats As Virus Supercarriers

Ever since I heard the 40 ℃/104 ℉ stat on bats’ body temperatures in flight and how they represent 1/5th of all mammals on earth, it’s put things in perspective for me. That means that they can carry a virus perfect for humans while flying — and not kill it. Not great, huh?

Other researchers have suggested that bats’ super-tolerance might have something to do with their ability to generate large repertoires of naïve antibodies, or the fact that when bats fly, their internal temperatures are increased to around 40 deg C (104 deg F), which is not ideal for many viruses. Only the viruses that have evolved tolerance mechanisms survive in bats. These hardy viruses can therefore tolerate human fever. What is a good thing for bats is a bad thing for humans.

Dr. Melvin Sanicas

Some bat stats for you: