To determine the possible “virus reservoir”, Chinese scientists carried out analysis and comparison to find snakes that could be the source.
Representative image / Malayalam News18.
The newly discovered coronavirus in China might have spread from snakes to human beings, a new study has revealed. Coronavirus is zoonotic, which means that it spreads from animals to human beings.
Cases of coronavirus were first reported last December and originated from a seafood market in China’s Wuhan city. The wholesale market sells poultry, snake, bats, and other farm animals.
To determine the possible “virus reservoir”, Chinese scientists carried out analysis and comparison to find snakes that could be the source. CNN reported that Chinese krait and Chinese cobra could be the most likely candidates.
The study was first published on Wiley Online Library on January 22.
According to latest reports, 17 people have died due to the deadly virus strain. Coronavirus has already infected as many as 400 people, with a man in United States becoming the first case outside Asia.
The disease shows pneumonia-like symptoms and can lead to death. What is worrying researchers worldwide is that not much is known about the virus. So, detecting its origin will be of great help.
Using samples of the virus isolated from those infected, scientists in China determined the genetic code of the coronavirus and photographed it with microscopes.
The new coronavirus belongs to the same family of viruses as the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) that killed several people in the last two decades.
The novel coronavirus has been termed ‘2019-nCoV’ by the World Health Organization (WHO).
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