Tracking Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers in Uganda

scientist near a cave in Uganda

NCEZID disease ecologists Jon Towner and Brian Amman and Ugandan epidemiologist Luke Nyakarahuka at the mouth of Python Cave in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park. An estimated 50,000 bats live in the cave.

Python Cave in Uganda is home to not only snakes but also thousands of Egyptian fruit bats. Several recent human cases of infection with Marburg virus—a close cousin to Ebola— have surfaced with links to these bats, and people in nearby villages have experienced devastating outbreaks. CDC worked with Ugandan experts to put GPS units on the bats’ backs to track their movements. By learning where the bats travel, we hope to better predict which areas are most at risk for Marburg and stop the next outbreak before it ever starts.