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Global wildlife surveillance could provide early warning for next pandemic

Global wildlife surveillance could provide early warning for next pandemic

The virus that causes COVID-19 probably originated in wild bats that live in caves around Wuhan, China, and may have been passed to a second animal species before infecting people, according to the World Health Organization. Many of the most devastating epidemics of recent decades—including Ebola, avian influenza and HIV/AIDS—were triggered by animal viruses that spilled over into people. Despite the ever-present danger of a new virus emerging and sparking a worldwide pandemic, there is no global system to screen for viruses in wild animals that eventually may jump to humans.