The SARS-CoV (coronavirus) outbreak of 2002-2003 – which infected roughly 8,000 people and killed nearly 800 – is undoubtedly the best known of these diseases, but is by no means the only one to emerge.
Genetic analysis of two recent novel coronavirus infections in the Middle East suggest (but fall short of proving) that bats may be the primary host for this virus as well (see Coronavirus `Closely Related’ To HK Bat Strains).
And the natural reservoir for the Ebola viruses (including Marburg) are believed to be fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family.
Prior to the SARS outbreak – during the 1990s – two new bat-borne viruses made headlines; Nipah and Hendra, both henipaviruses of the family Paramyxoviridae.
Me – “Fruit bats carrying common virus for Ebola, Marburg, SARS, Hendra…? Bats to pigs to people. But what triggers outbreak? Human and domesticated animal “invasion” of formerly naturally balanced eco-systems?”