"On A Bat’s Wing And A Prayer"

"Scientists’ plan to track deadly Marburg virus is literally held together with glue".

"BAT CAVE, QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK, UGANDA -- By day, some of the most dangerous animals in the world lurk deep inside this cave. Come night, the tiny fruit bats whoosh out, tens of thousands of them at a time, filling the air with their high-pitched chirping before disappearing into the black sky.

The bats carry the deadly Marburg virus, as fearsome and mysterious as its cousin Ebola. Scientists know that the virus starts in these animals, and they know that when it spreads to humans it is lethal — Marburg kills up to 9 in 10 of its victims, sometimes within a week. But they don’t know much about what happens in between.

That’s where the bats come in. No one is sure where they go each night. So a team of scientists from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention traveled here to track their movements in the hopes that spying on their nightly escapades could help prevent the spread of one of the world’s most dreaded diseases. Because there is a close relationship between Marburg and Ebola, the scientists are also hopeful that progress on one virus could help solve the puzzle of the other."

Lena H. Sun reports for the Washington Post December 13, 2018, with photos by Bonnie Jo Mount.

Source: Washington Post, 12/17/2018