Jan 30 – The World Health Organisation has said the potential danger to humans from NeoCov, a type of coronavirus that spreads among bats in South Africa, requires further study.
The WHO said, “Whether the virus detected in the study will pose a risk for humans will require further study,” as quoted by news agency TASS.
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The WHO also said it was working closely with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the UN Environment Program (UNEP) to “monitor and respond to the threat of emerging zoonotic viruses.”
“Animals, particularly wild animals are the source of more than 75 per cent of all emerging infectious diseases in humans, many of which are caused by novel viruses. Coronaviruses are often found in animals, including in bats which have been identified as a natural reservoir of many of these viruses,” the WHO said.
READ: “NeoCov”: Chinese scientists warn of new kind of Coronavirus from bats
Chinese researchers had discovered the new kind of coronavirus, NeoCov, which is spreading among bats in South Africa. In their study, the scientists say that the virus may pose a threat to humans in the future.
NeoCoV is a term loosely being used to refer to a virus variant linked to MERS-CoV. MERS-CoV belongs to the larger coronavirus family and is one of the seven known coronaviruses that can infect humans.
MERS-CoV caused large outbreaks in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and South Korea during the 2010s. According to the World Health Organisation, approximately 35% of reported patients with MERS-CoV infection have died. NeoCoV is a possible variant of this particular coronavirus.
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