‘Virus Hunters’ tracking infectious diseases

ABC News’ James Longman joins a group that travels the world looking for the source of the next possible pandemic.
9:53 | 10/31/20

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for ‘Virus Hunters’ tracking infectious diseases
Corona virus pandemic has brought renewed attention to infectious diseases especially figuring out ways to fight them. And prevent them from reaching people in the first place. Search long and went along with some of these experts is part of a National Geographic special cold virus hunters here's a sneak peek. Sunday night here let landings on the different climate. It's definitely on the having trouble hearing for a virus. I mean you goalies good enough protective gave the mosque symbolizes people reforms shopping what does that you can. Just goes Liberia. Crist has made it there is no. Liberia was ground zero for the U boulder outbreak. And a place for searches are looking for the souls of the next pandemic. People coming into contact with bats in the spring forest he could be exposed to a new strain of Ebola for another virus. This something the government of Liberia takes very seriously. The early moments come before this side. Moses is a range whose job it is to spill. Purchase. He and his team are off first line of defense. So walking along this game trailed. And Jules would have fine. Your stunning at this abandoned mine. Okay EC may be two or three meters in the forest and audio even in the kind of hazy concede it kind of a criminal mix of previous mining industry. Overwhelmingly. This whole cronies. Need. Wings meeting in a dark. And you know kind of street concerns. This step is different about and so what we're doing here is basically just checking to see if there's any signs hunting yes. You guys are stopping people from coming handouts you know yeah I was stunned then Simon. Mosques some yes masks on. My guess he's sorry let's check in and smooth. Machine each. Tool out. Is the first time online fund being in a case which stops flying around and my hands. But also in the knowledge that products contain viruses that are dangerous she peace. Especially in a liberian women out of Helena came from. Plural constantly fires me back yet now about. Size. It really was kind of class on that thing. And while. It was the relief to have Chris hand by it was kind of relax now things are for me. Because I'm a complete loudly as he can I think that this is one of the most beautiful things that are obscene or even though I know that there is this potential risk. And people on these dots right Chris I mean he's a valuable. In many places these are a preferred food and unworkable paying an extra premium price for something. To this would be a prime. Hunting ground for someone to committee hearing just clocked a whole bunch OK and so if you came in here is that he replication. You know when moms can listen you know real protections. You can easily the company kind of that is the exact type of almost transmission scenario where you are getting terrorist allies to urine personalized. Feces. But also if you're killing the bathroom and exposed directly to their blood as well. Yes for yeah we'll. He's going. This is absolutely. Insane. A lot of the old iron ore processing equipment and does things are and there's. You guys at Hewlett when he of people what do you found won't let it plays on its atop Lyons. She sort of then on it wasn't Cloris. Phyllis prepared our hunger it's a means someone wrote any. Separating came in Aaron and yes at that this has actually yes. Moses and his team sign this trap me wish. Seems to suggest that humans have been inside the EECO punters who were staying in this cave. Night after night being exposed to. That PC is back here and that fights. Shares actually horseshoe bats and the type of fruit bat. Horseshoe bats are known to be related potentially chew coded and also to Ebola. Allow home like Owens. It's and we go further and further back into the depths of the Keating from. And Moses looks down and he actually sees she's a whole host dead bats on the ground suggested didn't get want to listen to nip violence. While. Many many many anonymous. It's as you just know I want. It is a baby yeah. Like this one is probably. Your knowledge of at all it's. One's definitely a juvenile. It's. One. One to GE. Let's spread through this community of bats that would certainly explain why do you have a variety of different age classes of bats that are all dead in the exact same spot. It feels like this is something that's really important to understand. Chris is fascinated by this. And it could be that these bouts have died of some kind of virus. It's really does feel like learn from line of something I'm night. Young grounds should not be nine grace is not like petals. And. And I think obviously the issue is that as a puncher in hand. And as a dad. And has Alando whenever. I'm Ryan serious problem and there's probably some sort of does he is exactly. Bats were known to be he reservoir. Of Ebola. They also transmitted to other types of animals and then was transmitted to humans. This is the exact way. That in new deadly virus could start. James Solomon joins us now from Belgium the heart of Europe's current Kobe crisis James in your travels for this new special sent to air on our partners Nat geo. The most surprising thing that you learned about coded and and other potential viruses. Indeed who I think anything I found a surprising is how comparatively. Lightly we may have gone off. With corona virus now that might sound shocking of course. People's lives have been ruined by this virus. There are so many others out may in fact there isn't always infinite number of viruses and try to Boris was very contagious. He's not as deadly as it could have been announced like we went to pulse the world. To find viruses that have broken out I'm really killed a great many more people like for example. Liberia in West Africa Webb poll that broke out. You know scientists have been warning for years about the potential of more pandemic they've been breaking out in front. We've more frequency. Things like component and spread it's critical that they all. Really creating dangerous and I was in that case with bats flying around over my head many of whom would have had corona virus possibly also if mullah. Good Teddy was eluded a scary place to be but it was fascinating because we learned so much about cops themselves from the getting close to Halloween. People often kind of vilified box. But really fast on just a very good for except for viruses that are something like 18100 species of them have been around a long time they've got. An incredibly. Good immune system has a lot to learn from these stocks announce what these researchers are on the front line I was so inspired by them could in themselves at risk. Finding out what we can from these animals to make sure. To win the next pandemic hits and it is a way and it's not an eight. They'll be prepared. And what can you tell us about the risk of these new virus is here in a break here in the United States. Weisel sort of fascinating we went out with a ranger in Wisconsin hunting is a huge politics. Paul Fleiss in the midwest in Wisconsin a father or something like 400000. Dated that a harvested. Every year a line. They have diseases CWD chronic wasting disease that hasn't jumped to humans but it's Paul the family of diseases. Do affect humans and these ranges go out to try to make sure they can keep this disease under wraps and if it does jump from the ditch achievements. Tell knives but CW defects due in approximately half the states in America so it is a really serious problems the other big issue is industrial farming. You know the American appetite for meat and dairy products is huge and it's only getting together risk it's growing with the appetite growing so. We went to a federal facility in my last opportunity fascinating with a screen all these animals H1N1 thankfully for con 2009 United States. And it's considered a national risk. Flying by I'm not security in the United States have the possibility of home grown pandemic. In the United States its industrial farming another big flashpoint the possibility of a pandemic arising from anywhere in the world. He's just around the corner and that is why that's what is so important for. It really some impact the work that you're doing along with a scientist James in animal also in all of your courage. As well our thanks to you and be sure and watch the one hour special event virus hunters premiering this Sunday night. At 9 eighths central on National Geographic and leader streaming on Disney plus.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"9:53","description":"ABC News’ James Longman joins a group that travels the world looking for the source of the next possible pandemic.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/US","id":"73935732","title":"‘Virus Hunters’ tracking infectious diseases","url":"/US/video/virus-hunters-tracking-infectious-diseases-73935732"}