Hidden animal spreading Chinese Coronavirus: Study

Beijing: Coronavirus has spread in China and around the world. Scientists are yet to figure the origin of virus. No one knows the mystery behind coronavirus but in a line-up of likely suspects, evidence points to the oft-maligned bats.

A study  published in The Lancet Journal provide clues to the virus’s origin and points to bats as most likely hosts.

The study published on January 29 where the researchers analyzed 10 genome sequences of the virus which were found 96 % identical to the genome of bat coronavirus.

While we haven’t found the precise variant that caused the outbreak in humans, “the hypothesis that the virus has originated from bats is very likely,” according to a team from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. Chinese investigators reached the same conclusion.

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While bats may be the original hosts of the novel Chinese coronavirus, an animal sold at a seafood market in Wuhan may be spreading the deadly virus to humans, a study published in The Lancet journal suggests.

When health officials took specimens from the market, they found evidence of the virus in 33 out of 585 samples taken from people at the market and the stalls where meat was sold.

While bats are implicated in many awful human viruses, from Ebola to rabies, they’re connoisseurs of coronaviruses.

Based on the data, they said it seems likely that the 2019-nCoV causing the Wuhan outbreak might also be initially hosted by bats and transmitted to humans via a currently unknown wild animal sold at the Huanan seafood mark.

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“The outbreak was first reported in late December, 2019, when most bat species in Wuhan are hibernating”, said Professor Guizhen Wu, from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

No bats were sold or found at the Huanan seafood market, whereas many non-aquatic animals (including mammals) were, Wu noted.

Intern Anhaar Majid

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