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New SARS-like coronavirus discovered in Chinese horseshoe bats
Date:10/30/2013

receptor ACE2 and can therefore be transmitted directly from bats to people. During the original outbreak of SARS in the wet markets of Guangdong province in China over 10 years ago, it was thought that bat viruses first infected civets, and then the virus evolved to infect people by this intermediate wildlife host. The current breakthrough suggests that SARS may have originated from one of these viruses, precluding civets from playing a part in the transmission process. "This paper hasn't resolved the provenance of SARS CoV; nonetheless, it does provide compelling evidence that an intermediate host was not necessary," commented W. Ian Lipkin, MD, John Snow Professor and Director, Center for Infection and Immunity of Columbia University.

"EcoHealth Alliance continues to work on predicting and preventing the next pandemic crisis. Our research uncovered a wide diversity of potentially pandemic viruses present, right now, in bats in China that could spillover into people and cause another SARS-like outbreak. Even worse, we don't know how lethal these viruses would be if such an outbreak erupted," said Dr. Daszak. "The results point out the importance of continuing surveillance of viruses in bats, with the goals of identifying other viruses, including coronaviruses, that could cross species and potentially cause serious disease in humans or domesticated animals," conveyed Stanley Perlman, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor
in the Department of Microbiology University of Iowa.

"There are lessons here for the recent outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus that likely originated in Saudi Arabian bats. We need to protect bat habitats from severe human-induced changes to the environment as well as create public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission," continued Daszak. It is not uncommon for bats to be used as a food source for many people in China and other parts of Asia so the risk is substantial. EcoHealth Alliance is wo
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Contact: Anthony M. Ramos
ramos@ecohealthalliance.org
212-380-4469
EcoHealth Alliance
Source:Eurekalert  

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