News & AnalysisEMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES

Link to MERS Virus Underscores Bats' Puzzling Threat

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Science  30 Aug 2013:
Vol. 341, Issue 6149, pp. 948-949
DOI: 10.1126/science.341.6149.948

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Summary

The announcement that a gene fragment of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus has been found in an Egyptian tomb bat has focused new attention on an enigma: Is there something special about bats that makes them more likely to unleash human diseases? Scientists aren't sure, but they have offered a range of explanations to explain why bats might pose a greater threat than other animals.