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Bats Have Gotten a Bad Rap

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Bats are among the most misunderstood animals we encounter – or don’t encounter as many people have never seen a bat. But with the of onslaught of the pandemic, bats which are truly beneficial, have gotten a bad rap. Although bats do harbor a large number of corona viruses which don’t seem to make them sick, most scientists believe the virus mutated and infected an intermediary animal, perhaps the pangolin, and that animal transmitted the virus to humans. Bats cannot give Covid 19 to humans, but researchers fear that humans could transmit it to bats. That’s why bat researchers now use all the super protective gear when working with bats that we are used to seeing medical workers wear. As humans move into spaces once occupied by wildlife, it’s likely more diseases will mutate and jump from one species to another.

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Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.