Newly developed corona viruses in China may originate from bats or snakes, according to analysis of the genome of the virus that has claimed 17 lives so far.
The theory is based on an examination of the genome sequence of the virus provided by the authorities, with two studies showing the possible role of bats in the outbreak.
— World News Observer (@wnobserver) January 25, 2020
A study published Tuesday in the journal ‘Science China Life Sciences’, examined the relationship between the new corona virus and other viruses, and found that it was closely related to the type present in bats.
“Bats as the original host of CoV (corona virus) Wuhan are a more logical and easy reason, although there may be intermediate hoses in transmission from bats to humans,” according to researchers from several Chinese institutions in the study.
The study did not speculate on which animal might be the ‘middle host’.
However, a second study published Wednesday in the ‘Journal of Medical Virology’ identified it as a potential snake.
The researchers however warned that their formulation required ‘further validation by experimental studies’ in animal models.
The study also did not explain how the virus might be transmitted from animal to human.
However, they can offer guidance to Chinese authorities who are working hard to identify the source of the new corona virus outbreak.
The food market where the virus is reported has emerged, selling a variety of exotic animals, including foxes, crocodiles, giant salamander, snakes, mice, peacocks, hedgehogs, and camel meat.
Director of the China Prevention and Control Center, Gao Fu, said authorities believed the virus was likely to come from ‘wild animals in the seafood market’, although the exact source is yet to be determined.