Virus hunters explore bat caves for signs of deadly diseases
Diseases such as Ebola, Marburg and rabies can be carried by bats
The goal is to identify potential outbreaks before they happen
It is a slow and cumbersome descent hindered by head-to-toe protective suits. A wooden ladder dips down the side, as two researchers in white suits and respirators make their way into Grootboom cave in South Africa.
The suits make the journey more cumbersome, but they are the only things standing between safety and exposure.
Inside the cave, thousands of bats either cling tightly to the walls or fly around in bunches. Any number of them could contain deadly pathogens.