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New Study Suggests Coronavirus Started In Bats

New Study Suggests Coronavirus Started In Bats

A study published yesterday in The Lancet looked at the genome sequences of the coronavirus, given the name 2019-nCoV, obtained from nine patients in China who had contracted the virus.

Researchers compared the 2019-nCoV genetic sequence with a library of viral sequences and found the most closely related viruses were two coronaviruses that originated in bats - sharing 88 percent of the same genetic sequence.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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The study's authors say this link points towards the virus starting at bats. However, according to the report, no bats were sold at the Huanan seafood market - where the virus originated - so there could be another animal in the middle of the chain, passing the disease from bat to human.

The Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention's Guizhen Wu, who co-authored the study, wrote: "It seems likely that another animal host is acting as an intermediate host between bats and humans."

The new study adds weight to a previous one, which also singled out bats as the most likely cause.

A research team from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the People's Liberation Army and Institut Pasteur of Shanghai released a statement alongside their study to say: "The Wuhan coronavirus' natural host could be bats... but between bats and humans there may be an unknown intermediate."

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Tests Confirm Coronavirus Outbreak Did Start At Huanan Seafood Market In Wuhan

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Tests Confirm Coronavirus Outbreak Did Start At Huanan Seafood Market In Wuhan

published at9 months ago

The death toll from the coronavirus currently stands at 170, and the disease has now spread to every region in China. Officials in China have said there has been 7,711 confirmed cases in the country.

The coronavirus has so far spread to 16 other countries.

China has worked around the clock to get new hospitals built to help care for patients. One facility, in Huanggang City, was opened within 48 hours and will be able to provide treatment for around 1,000 patients.

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Three other hospitals are planned for nearby Wuhan and will be able to treat thousands of patients between them once up and running.

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Topics: World News, China, Health

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Claire Reid

Claire is a journalist at LADbible who, after dossing around for a few years, went to Liverpool John Moores University. She graduated with a degree in Journalism and a whole load of debt. When not writing words in exchange for money she is usually at home watching serial killer documentaries surrounded by cats. You can contact Claire at [email protected]