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When the mayor of Modica, a Sicilian town known for its chocolates and churches, learned that a sex worker in the area had tested positive for the coronavirus, he immediately started to worry about an outbreak.

Many people worry about bats as a source of viruses, including the one that has caused a worldwide pandemic. But another question is surfacing: Could humans pass the novel coronavirus to wildlife, specifically North American bats?

In the early pandemic era, for instance, airborne transmission of COVID-19 was not considered likely, but in early July the World Health Organization, with mounting scientific evidence, conceded that it is a factor, especially indoors. The WHO updated its priors, and changed its advice.

COVID-19, the novel strain of the coronavirus that has sickened thousands across the globe, is spreading in Maryland.


COVID-19 in Maryland >>

Confirmed cases are updated each morning from state reports.

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