News of the WeekEMERGING DISEASES

Malaysian Researchers Trace Nipah Virus Outbreak to Bats

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Science  28 Jul 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5479, pp. 518-519
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5479.518

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Summary

ATLANTA-- Scientists are a step closer to unraveling a medical mystery that killed 105 people in Malaysia last year and destroyed the country's pig industry. The Nipah virus, which caused the disease, most likely originated in a native fruit bat species, Malaysian researchers reported here at a meeting last week. They say the findings will help Malaysian health authorities prevent future outbreaks of the Nipah virus. Others see the case as an argument for expanding research into infections that can leap the boundary between animals and humans.