It’s hard for me to overstate how brave people who willingly put themselves on the frontlines of outbreaks are—especially when you’re up against an enemy we haven’t seen before. Without any information about how a disease jumps from person to person, it’s difficult to protect yourself. Your only option is to put on a biohazard suit and trust that it will keep you safe.

If you’re a health worker in a situation like that, you’re often faced with patients you can’t help. We can’t treat a disease until we know what it is, after all. That’s where virus hunters come in.

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