science

New virus discovered in China '94.5 percent identical to COVID-19', say scientists


Shandong’s scientists looked at 411 samples collected from 23 bat species in Yunnan province in China during 2019 and 2020, and found four viruses related to SARS-CoV-2 were discovered.

In addition to RpYN06, the authors said in their paper “the other three SARS-CoV-2 related coronaviruses were nearly identical in sequence”.

Scientists, led by Weifeng Shi, then added “relatives of SARS-CoV-2 circulate in wildlife species in a broad geographic region of Southeast Asia and southern China”.

They said their findings “highlight the remarkable diversity of bat viruses”, but warned it is “essential that further surveillance efforts should cover a broader range of wild animals in this region to help track ongoing spill-overs of [viruses] from animals to humans”.





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