A group of Japanese scientists have discovered a new type of coronavirus similar to the strain that causes Covid-19, in the feces of cave bats.
Researchers from the University of Tokyo found the pathogen in the feces of small horseshoe bats in the wilderness of Japan seven years ago. A new investigation has found that it is very similar to SARS-CoV-2 – the coronavirus strain that causes Covid-19.
The genetic makeup of the new virus matched 81.5 percent with SARS-CoV-2, and experts say this is the first time that a pathogen similar to the one that caused the current pandemic has been found in Japan. .
Coronaviruses that pass from animals to humans are responsible for many diseases, including Covid-19, SARS, MERS and some versions of the common cold. Thankfully, scientists say the new virus does not infect humans, although further investigation is still needed.
“It is thought that only a small amount of coronavirus is dangerous, but there is no denying that there are species that infect humans in Japan,” Professor Shin Murakami explained. “We will investigate the wildlife and urgently investigate the actual situation. We need to find that out. ”
This is not the first time that a coronavirus similar to SARS-CoV-2 has been found. According to official statistics, disease-hunting scientists in China found coronavirus with a genetic rate of 95% match with the virus which caused more than 1.2 million deaths worldwide. , according to official statistics.
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