Wildlife veterinarian, Dr. Marc Valitutto, works with animals to learn about how they react to diseases and how they can potentially be transmitted to humans.
While on-air with Elvis Duran and the Morning Show, Valitutto goes in to detail explaining what he does, what he knew about the virus before it came, and what the future holds for COVID-19 as well as future diseases.
"Most of the viruses we worry about come from bats, rodents or primates," Valitutto tells Elvis Duran on Tuesday, March 31st. "The goal here is to see if they are sharing these diseases. Which proves the diseases can go from animal to animal to potentially humans."
One of the cages he currently works with hold almost half a million bats with rodents in there too. They combine rodents into the cages with the bats to identify if the species are sharing the same diseases. This can help prove that the diseases can spread to humans.
As someone whose purpose is to look at every aspect of wildlife health so that animals and humans can live side by side, Dr. Valitutto is completely dedicated to studying diseases like COVID-19. So we had to ask... Did he see this virus coming?
"The scientists i work with… We knew this was coming. Not specifically COVID-19 but we knew viruses of this danger level were coming, we’ve known this for a long time, even since SARS came around. And so that’s why we do what we do for these viruses to stop them from getting into populations."
In fact the work that he’s doing right now he has already found 6 new viruses in bats... “We’ve already found new viruses that have never been discovered before in bats and all around the world. Through this program we’ve discovered viruses that have never been discovered before including a new ebola virus. Knowing this information we are able to say ‘hey this is the species of animal this is coming from and these are the human behaviors that will lead to you getting this virus.’"
Dr. Valitutto answers questions like, how we can be proactive about these viruses? Why can't we make vaccines when we discover the virus exists? How do you convey to certain cultures and countries that they may be contributing to these viruses? all can be answered in his full interview with Elvis Duran above!