NPR

Spillover Beasts: Which Animals Pose The Biggest Viral Risk?

Rodents, primates and bats likely carry hundreds of thousands of viruses we haven't yet identified. But how do you know which ones might infect humans?
Source: Matt Twombly for NPR

Eye-popping. That's the word that comes to mind when you hear how many viruses are likely hiding out around the world in animals.

"We expect there are hundreds of thousands of mammalian viruses out there," says Kevin Olival, a disease ecologist at EcoHealth Alliance, who led the study.

Really? Hundreds of thousands?

"Yes, it's likely," Olival says. "Any given mammal species is likely to have 20, 30 or even 100 viruses. When you add that up around the

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