Bat researchers in Cambodia are on a mission to help track the origins of the pandemic by collecting samples from horseshoe bats in the country’s northern regions near Laos. Coronaviruses considered very similar to Covid-19 were found in animals in the area a decade ago, and in bats as recently as 2020. Bats have been found to carry deadly viruses including Ebola, as well coronaviruses that cause severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers). The eight-member research team was gathering samples from bats and logging their species, sex, age and other information in August 2021, and they will also study the role of wildlife trading as a factor in the pandemic.
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