Questions for ‘How to find the next pandemic virus before it finds us’

Researchers with EcoHealth Alliance in China remove a bat from a live trap. They will sample blood and feces before freeing the animal. They must wear protective gear in case the bat hosts a harmful coronavirus. They’re scouting for novel viruses that might be able to trigger a pandemic.

EcoHealth Alliance

To accompany feature “How to find the next pandemic virus before it finds us”


Before Reading:

1.  What is a virus? Name three diseases caused by a virus.

2.  What is the flu? Ebola? COVID-19? What are the differences between the three?

During Reading:

1.  What are zoonoses?

2.  What is a spillover?

3.  How do viruses reproduce?

4.  What are four viruses that sicken people that are thought to have originated in bats?

5.  What are two ideas that scientists have for why bats are a good host for deadly viruses?

6.  How did a two-year-old boy in Guinea likely become exposed to the Ebola virus?

7.  What is ecology?

8.  How might a live animal market have helped the SARS-CoV-2 virus pass from bats to people?

9.  Why are people now asked to keep at least 7 meters from wild apes when viewing them in Africa?

After Reading:

1.  Following the spread of COVID-19, some people have called for the closing of markets where wild animals are sold. What effect might that have on the transfer of viruses from animals to people? Use evidence from the story to support your answer.

2.  Diseases can spread from people to gorillas and other apes. There is now a rule about how close people can get to these animals in the wild. What other rules might you put in place to protect these animals?