Scientists identify five new bat viruses

(ORDO NEWS) — A team of Australian and Chinese scientists have discovered five new viruses in bats that can be transmitted to humans, including one closely related to the coronavirus that caused the pandemic. This was reported on November 24 by The Telegraph newspaper.

Animals found to have infections live in southern China in Yunnan province on the border with Laos and Myanmar. Virus samples were taken from 149 bats between 2015 and 2019.

“Among them is a new recombinant coronavirus of the SARS type, closely related to SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV, with only five differences in the amino acid chain between it and the earliest versions of the 2019 coronavirus,” the experts specified.

BtSY2, which is closest to the coronavirus, has a receptor-binding region similar to SARS-CoV-2. The virus with its help is fixed on the cells in the human body.

According to University of Sydney virologist Professor Eddie Holmes, viruses like Sars-Cov-2 are still circulating in Chinese bats and there are risks of their spread.

Experts also proved that bats are regularly infected with several viruses at the same time. This demonstrates the ability of existing viruses to exchange parts of their genetic code to form new pathogens.

“The main finding is that individual bats can harbor many different types of viruses, sometimes hosting them at the same time,” Jonathan Ball, professor of virology at the University of Nottingham, who was not involved in the study, commented on the scientific work.

Also on November 24, it was reported that the rate of spread of COVID-19 in China reached a record high and amounted to 31,656 detected cases per day.

Earlier, on November 10, China once again canceled the Beijing Auto China 2022 International Auto Show due to the turbulent situation with COVID-19.

Anti-COVID restrictions in China have become the most stringent in the world: entire areas are completely closed, production stops, food delivery is even limited in some cities. The stoppage of production affected the release of premium iPhone smartphones.


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