Researchers search for next pandemic

The U.S. government operates an advanced laboratory in Iowa that is tasked with protecting Americans from new deadly viruses.
2:24 | 10/30/20

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Transcript for Researchers search for next pandemic
As the U.S. Battles the surge of the virus, and Europe deals with a deadly second wave, virus hunters, scientists, are fighting to keep Americans safe from another virus like this one. James Longman O the front lines from the middle of this country all the way to Liberia. Reporter: Tonight, as coronavirus surges around the world, researchers say this pandemic was jwake up call. With covid sweeping the midwest, the U.S. Government operates an advanced laboratory here in Iowa, tasked with protecting Americans from a new deadly virus. We got exclusive access to the site. This is a small nasal swab, so if any of you have been tested for the coronavirus, you can understand. Reporter: Covid-19 is believed to have come from a bat but viruses exist in all kinds of wildlife, waiting to jump to humans. And it's a constant battle. The next pandemic could be found in a test tube like this. One swine flu virus,1, last broke out in humans in the U.S. In 2009. And this can be tested for multiple different pathogens. But we're going to be looking for influenza. Reporter: Pandemics are considered a national security risk, and the department of agriculturscreens various farmed animals here to make sure American food is safe.viral pandemics are not just some foreign pheno industrial farming here in the United States represents a major breeding ground for potential new viruses because of the sheer volume of animals being farmed. American researchers are also working on the front lines around the world. Ebola killed thousands in Liberia. And it's not just the bats in Wuhan, China. They're studying the bats here as well. The team is setting up what's called a harp trap, and its specially made to catch bats. I can still see some pretty sharp teeth. Reporter:his brave work could hohe answer to the next pandemic. David, for years, scientists have been concerned. That's why they're hard at work. James, thank you. More of James' reporting in a one-hour special event, virus hunters, this Sunday at 9:00 P.M. On national geographic.

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

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