Published: Wed, February 12, 2020
Science | By

Pangolins, potential carrier of coronavirus, Chinese scientists say

Pangolins, potential carrier of coronavirus, Chinese scientists say

Simply reporting the similarity between the genome sequences of viruses is "not sufficient", said James Wood, a veterinary medicine professor at the University of Cambridge. This suggested an intermediate host, and some studies had proposed various candidates such as snakes.

The brand new virus, which emerged at a reside animal marketplace in central China's Wuhan town overdue remaining yr, is thought to have originated in bats, however researchers have recommended there can have been an "intermediate host" within the transmission to people.

Pangolins are a delicacy in the culture of China.

Neil D'Cruze, global head of wildlife research at World Animal Protection, also supported other expert's claims for additional information on the coronavirus source.

Pangolins are a trafficked, critically endangered species whose scales are believed by some to have medicinal properties.

The Daily Maverick offers further insights, tracing the origins of the claim to researchers working with the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas who conducted research into the viral communities of Malayan Pangolins (Manis javanica) a year ago.

Liu Yahong, the president of the South China Agricultural University, said the results of the tests they conducted suggested that pangolins are a potential intermediate host of the novel coronavirus.


Bats pass along viruses in their poop: If they drop feces onto a piece of fruit that another animal then eats, the creature can become a carrier. Illegal trafficking of pangolins is in widespread for their meat, scales and traditional Chinese medicine.

'On the one hand, we hope this result will warn people to stay away from wild animals.

So are scaly anteaters responsible for fuelling an epidemic?
.

"A temporary ban does not address the larger problem, there will always be a risk of infections like coronavirus as long as there is demand for wildlife in China", says Tulshi Laxmi Suwal of Nepal's Small Mammal Conservation and Research Foundation who did her PhD on pangolins from National Pintung University in Taiwan. The virus killed 774 people and infected more than 8,000 in eight months.

Several animals and birds are also being debated for the same reason.

Beijing: Coronavirus spread from China has knocked all over the world.

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