A Never-Before-Seen Virus Has Been Detected in Myanmar’s Bats

Scientists with Smithsonian’s Global Health Program examine a wrinkle-lipped bat, which can harbor a never-before-seen virus. (Roshan Patel/Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute)
Scientists with Smithsonian’s Global Health Program examine a wrinkle-lipped bat, which can harbor a never-before-seen virus. (Roshan Patel/Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute)

To prevent the next pandemic, pinpoint it at the source. That’s the idea behind PREDICT, a global surveillance program that has spent almost 10 years hunting for new viruses that could spill over from vulnerable wildlife to humans. Now, PREDICT researchers in Myanmar have hit pay dirt with a never-before-seen virus that infects wrinkle-lipped bats—a virus in the same family as the ones that cause SARS and MERS. Read more from Smithsonian Magazine

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