Terrifying Russian Bat Virus Could Spark Next Pandemic

  • The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over. In fact, it shows signs of lingering for, well, a long time.
  • But even as politicians and health authorities struggle with how, if at all, to keep addressing the current pandemic, scientists are already anticipating the next one. They’re scouring the planet for animal viruses that, like SARS-CoV-2, could leap to the human population and cause serious disease on a global scale.
  • They just found one. And it’s nasty.
  • In 2020, a team of Russian scientists collected a few horseshoe bats in Sochi National Park in southern Russia. The Russians identified, in those bats, a new virus they called Khosta-2. Behaviorally, the virus seemed to have a lot in common with SARS-CoV-2.
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