Forum 6: Ebolavirus and Coronavirus Among Wild Animals

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virology, wildlife, pathogens, bats


In this presentation, Australian disease ecologist Dr. Kristian Forbes explains how viruses transfer from animals to humans, which is the leading cause of new infectious diseases. Professor Forbes specializes in the study of viruses in bats, “the birds of the night” and likely the original hosts of the viruses responsible for Ebola and COVID-19. His work sheds unique insight on the process of a disease’s migration from the wild and how these mutations can be studied and potentially mitigated. Forbes places some of the best-known and most-feared viruses and the diseases they cause into their wildlife context: AIDS, Ebola, Dengue Fever, SARS, and COVID-19. He also emphasizes how human population expansion and environmental degradation is bringing us into closer contact with these animals and their pathogens.


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