Bats’ immune defenses may be why their viruses can be so deadly to people

A virus originally from bats may be behind an ongoing outbreak of a new coronavirus

Egyptian fruit bat hanging upside down

A bat’s antiviral defenses let it safely carry viruses that can cause deadly outbreaks in other animals. One example is the Marburg virus, a close relative of Ebola that comes from Egyptian fruit bats (pictured), which causes severe bleeding and organ failure.

Jamezwuz/iStock/Getty Images Plus

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