With the world gripped by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, it is not easy to think about what could be next. But those on the front lines of science suggest the worst could still be to come. 

So, what can we do to prevent the next contagion before it is too late? Around the world, researchers are racing to prevent disaster, and their efforts represent the most critical scientific mission of a generation. With deadly new viruses on the rise and happening more frequently in recent years, National Geographic presents VIRUS HUNTERS, produced by American Broadcasting Company (ABC) News’ Lincoln Square Productions. Premiering Wednesday 25 November 2020 at 21:00 CAT on National Geographic (DStv 181, StarSat 220), VIRUS HUNTERS will reveal the raw and chilling stories of those heroic experts currently searching to identify the chain of events that could cause the next global pandemic.

National Geographic fellow, epidemiologist and ecologist Christopher Golden is on a mission to connect the dots on culture, disease and the environment to discover the patterns that cause global health crises. ABC News foreign correspondent James Longman has seen the global ravages of COVID-19 firsthand and will use his investigative experience to find the answers to urgent questions the public is yearning for. Together, Goldenand Longman will embark on an epic journey across continents to meet with the brave scientists on a quest to not only understand and stop the COVID-19 outbreak, but also prevent the next deadly pandemic.

The chain of events that sets off a pandemic can be broken — remove one domino and you can prevent the loss of millions of lives. VIRUS HUNTERS will follow explorers Golden and Longman as they process through airports, hail taxis and navigate through every human interaction that has been tainted by the current global pandemic.

With infections and deaths spiking around the world, they will join the urgent fieldwork of these VIRUS HUNTERS at the forefront of science and exploration who are willing to risk it all to unlock these human virus mysteries and are currently posted in potential hot zones: Liberia, Thailand, Turkey and the United States:

  • Jim Desmond, Disease and Wildlife Interventionist
  • Supaporn Wacharaplusadee, Virus Gene Tracker
  • Kendra Phelps, Badass Bat Scientist
  • Rohit Chitale, Researcher for US Defense Department / Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

“The Covid-19 pandemic has affected people in so many ways. The virus continues to sweep across the globe, impacting communities, economies and entire states. VIRUS HUNTERS chronicles the heroic efforts of those on the front lines who are working tirelessly to prevent this from happening again” – Evert van der Veer, Vice President, Media Networks, The Walt Disney Company Africa.

VIRUS HUNTERS will serve as a documentary companion special to the single-topic November issue of the magazine focusing on COVID-19. For more of National Geographic’s coverage of COVID-19, visit natgeo.com/coronavirus.

VIRUS HUNTERS will air globally on National Geographic Channel in 172 countries in 43 languages. DSTV: Channel 181, StarSat: 220 on DTH, 220 on DTT (249 on DTT in Uganda)