fredag 4. desember 2020

Wuhan virologist says more bat coronaviruses capable of crossing over

Bats in the frontier regions of south and south-west China harbour other coronaviruses that already have the capacity to cross over to humans, a prominent Chinese scientist has said. Dr Shi Zhengli of the Wuhan Institute of Virology said these viruses, including close relatives of Sars-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19, were likely to be circulating in nature beyond China.

“We should not only search for them in China, but also in south Asian countries,” said Shi, who is nicknamed “Bat Woman” because her research group studies bat coronaviruses.

Her comments, which were made at a webinar organised by the French medical and veterinary academies, came as two international teams – one coordinated by the World Health Organization and another set up by the Lancet medical journal – prepare to investigate the origins of the pandemic a year after it officially began.