Saturday, 28 March, 2020


Pangolins may be intermediate novel Coronavirus host

Chinese researchers said the pangolin is a potential intermediate host for the novel coronavirus.- NSTP  File pic Chinese researchers said the pangolin is a potential intermediate host for the novel coronavirus.- NSTP File pic
Kristine Garrett | 12 February, 2020, 01:56

According to a Reuters report, official Chinese news agency Xinhua stated that the genome sequence of the coronavirus strain that was separated from pangolines in the study was 99% identical to that of infected individuals, making pangoline the most likely intermediate host.

The sequences are 99% similar, the researchers reported at a press conference on 7 February. Ebola outbreak (2013-2016) was also traced to bats.

The coronavirus source, which was initially believed to have originated in bats, although researchers suggested there have to have been an "intermediate host" in the transmission to humans. They are poached for their flesh, which is considered a delicacy in many parts of the world, including China.

The novel coronavirus broke out at a market in Wuhan where live wild animals were on sale in December 2019.

The Daily Maverick offers further insights, tracing the origins of the claim to researchers working with the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas who conducted research into the viral communities of Malayan Pangolins (Manis javanica) previous year.

The pangolin, otherwise known as a scaly anteater, is in high demand for traditional medicine in southern China, as its scales are thought to have medicinal properties.

"This latest discovery will be of great significance for the prevention and control of the origin (of the virus)", they said in a statement.

Pangolins may be intermediate novel Coronavirus host

Since, the coronavirus source is still unknown, we want to do everything in our power to prevent deadly disease outbreaks from spreading. "Eating meat of wild animals or close interaction with one can transmit the virus to humans", says Sanjan Thapa who is pursuing PhD on bats at China's Quangchau University.

Shen Yongyi, a professor at the university and a member of the research team, said previous research had shown the new corona virus to come from bats.

Worldwide, the coronavirus has killed 636 people while at least 31,000 people have been infected.

Birds and animals are in the centre of the debate about how the virus originated.

"It is highly probable that potential SARS- or MERS-like coronavirus outbreaks will probably arise from bats, and there's an increased likelihood that this will happen in China", the investigators wrote.

Beijing: Coronavirus spread from China has knocked all over the world.

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