Disease detectives trap bats to solve mysteries of Marburg, and more

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National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases

Highlights of our recent work to prevent the spread of infectious diseases

December 2018

Disease detectives trap bats in Python Cave to solve the mysteries of Marburg


Python Cave in Uganda is not only home to snakes, but to thousands of Egyptian fruit bats. Several recent human cases of Marburg virus – a close cousin to Ebola – have surfaced with links to these bats, and nearby villages have experienced devastating outbreaks.

To better understand how Marburg virus is transmitted from bats to people, CDC worked with Ugandan experts to put GPS units on the backs of bats to track their movements. By learning where the bats travel at night, we hope to better predict which areas are most at risk for Marburg and stop the next outbreak before it ever starts.

  • Check out this Washington Post piece by journalist Lena Sun, who followed along with our scientists during their trip.
  • Join our disease detectives on their journey in this new YouTube video.
  • Visit the CDC website to learn more about Marburg.

New videos: Learn how to administer smallpox vaccine


CDC is providing clinicians, laboratory scientists, public health professionals, and the public the information they need to prepare for and respond to a smallpox emergency.

Learn more about a series of videos that teach clinicians how to administer smallpox vaccine. 

Monkeypox in Nigeria


New cases continue to be detected in Nigeria’s monkeypox outbreak, which began in September 2017.

Learn more about the outbreak and what CDC