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Bats transmit several different viruses, including the Nipah virus, which scientists discovered recently. (See the fascinating story of its discovery in References!) We studied 14 cases of people in Bangladesh who got sick with the virus between 2011 and 2014. The source of their infection was unknown.

We found that eight of them drank fermented palm sap – the local palm wine. We believe that drinking this liquor is a potential way to get infected with Nipah virus. Palm wine producers should probably take measures to prevent contact between bats and the sap.

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