Young disease-carrying male bats are swooping towards the UK from South America on the hunt for females and the migrant crisis is continuing to overwhelm Europe.
And panicked boffins say the bats are carrying the abhorrent rabies virus and are ready to spread it to their new homes.
Migrants “smuggling into the UK” in lorries are also adding to the threat — by taking puppies in the trucks with them from Eastern Europe and Northern Africa.
Dr Daniel Streicker, academic into animal health at University of Glasgow, told Daily Star Online a blood-curdling rabies outbreak could be just around the corner.
The fatal virus is the deadliest zoonotic disease, which is one spread to humans from animals.
It tracks its way to the brain causing an agonising death in both humans and warm-blooded animals. There is no treatment and globally one child dies every nine minutes from the nasty virus.
Dr Streicker’s shocking study found the population of bats in and around the Andes mountains in South America is booming and more and more are migrating eastwards in order to mate, slowly invading into disease-free nations.
He said: “Viral expansions peak at the start of the wet season, which in Peru is now. New cohorts of births in the wet season is expected to initiate the next dispersal of males away [in search of females].
“We next forecast viral invasion to historically rabies-free countries. At present, we foresee no significant barriers to continued invasion beyond.”
Worryingly, other experts say rabies is on the rise globally.
Former vet Luke Gamble, chief executive of UK charity Mission Rabies, told Daily Star Online: “Rabies is on the increase in many parts of the world.
“Bats do carry rabies. The vampire bats are bad ones and stuff of legends because they attack and spread it.
“Actually bats in Europe are nearly as bad, so anyone finding a bat shouldn’t pick it up with bare hands and should phone the Bat Conservation Trust.
“Rabies was found in a bat in the UK in September this year.
“But the UK is most susceptible to rabies from puppies smuggled in from Eastern Europe and Northern Africa, which come through mainland Europe.
“So the biggest threat by a mile is the puppy smuggling and falsification of pet passports of pedigree dogs bought online and supplied from eastern Europe.
“If migrants start bringing their dogs and smuggling them in, then it would be fair to assume we would be at risk.”