Coronaviruses created headlines in 2002, when SARS appeared to 27 nations in China and spread, killing individuals. In 2012, the coronavirus that causes MERS surfaced in Saudi Arabia. Previous study has suggested that herpes was spread by bats to camels, which handed it. To map the distribution of coronaviruses, Anthony and his colleagues trapped and introduced about 300 bats, 1-2, 3,400 rodents and shrews, and 3. They were taken by their work to 20 nations in Central America and Africa, Asia, South America that had formerly been determined as ‘hotspots’ where illnesses might leap from wildlife to people.
From dusk until dark, groups of biologists, including nearby scientists â bagged bats that flew in to long, slender nets strung between trees. They gathered examples of of the animals’ saliva, urine and faces, and delivered these to labs for screening that was genetic. Nearly 10% of the bats carried coronaviruses, compared with 0.2% of the other animals sampled. As well as the team found the diversity of viruses was greatest in areas where several bat species lived, including the Amazon rainforest.