Pangolin May Be the Intermediate Transmitter of Coronavirus

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The life-threatening coronavirus infection, which has now approximately affected over thirty thousand people and resulted in around three hundred deaths throughout the world, continues to spread regardless of the multiple efforts and bans imposed by different governments. A new study now highlights one of the infection’s main transmitters.

Till now, the majority of the airlines have temporarily halted their flights to any region in China until the threat of the coronavirus infection goes down by stating how their priority lies in ensuring the safety of their passengers.

In addition, many airports are also checking and screening for any potential cases of coronavirus in the passengers who have made any recent trips to China or to any highly impacted place outside of China.

There are also travel bans imposed within the Chinese territory with the city of Wuhan, which is deemed as the most severely affected area at the moment, being completely locked down.

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People are advised to cut down on time spent outdoors, delay any travel plans, wear masks, and report symptoms immediately. There is a high alert in all different parts of China.

On the other hand, the neighboring countries of China have also been particularly careful. For instance, Mongolia has announced that it will be closing the China-Mongolia border crossing until the coronavirus epidemic has been controlled.

Many other countries have followed Mongolia and announced public holidays as well as imposing a ban on any public events to cut down the risk of further spread of the coronavirus infection.

With the development of the coronavirus epidemic, there is a concern over the outbreak’s impact on the international relations between China and other countries.

Therefore, health experts and researchers are thoroughly studying the origin, development, effects, and a potential treatment for the coronavirus infection.

Some of the health experts have suggested that the origin of the virus is associated with exotic animal markets in China, specifically the ones situated near the city of Wuhan.

Previously, the coronavirus was associated with bats but the new study conducted by researchers from South China Agricultural University has shown that there is an intermediate transmitter in the spread of the infection.

More precisely, the research accentuates the role of the endangered mammal, the pangolin, in the spread of the coronavirus infection.

The researchers were able to come to this conclusion after looking at the genome sequences of viruses present in over one thousand animals. The genome sequences in the pangolin were then seen to be ninety-nine percent similar to those found in people with the coronavirus infection.

However, researchers and health experts from around the world have requested additional data from the study. According to the veterinary medicine professor at the University of Cambridge, James Wood, stating similarities between genome sequences in not enough.

In addition, the professor of molecular virology at the University of Nottingham, Jonathan Bell, states that “We would need to see all of the genetic data to get a feel for how related the human and pangolin viruses are,”

Though there is still an ongoing debate about the limited data released by researchers from China, the findings may add significantly to the knowledge of coronavirus.

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