Lifestyle Health & Fitness Pangolin identified as potential link for coronavirus spread

Pangolin identified as potential link for coronavirus spread

The new virus, which emerged at a live animal market in central China's Wuhan city late last year, is believed to have originated in bats, but researchers have suggested there could have been an "intermediate host" in the transmission to humans.

Author

Date

Category

- Advertisement -

The endangered pangolin may be the link that facilitated the spread of the novel coronavirus across China, Chinese scientists said Friday.

At least 31,000 people have been infected and 630 killed by the virus, which has spread to two dozen countries.

Researchers at the South China Agricultural University have identified the scaly mammal as a “potential intermediate host,” the university said in a statement, without providing further details.

The new virus, which emerged at a live animal market in central China’s Wuhan city late last year, is believed to have originated in bats, but researchers have suggested there could have been an “intermediate host” in the transmission to humans.

- Advertisement -

After testing more than 1,000 samples from wild animals, scientists from the university found the genome sequences of viruses found on pangolins to be 99 percent identical to those on coronavirus patients, the official Xinhua news agency reported Friday.

The pangolin is considered the most trafficked animal on the planet and over one million have been snatched from Asian and African forests in the past decade, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

They are destined for markets in China and Vietnam, where their scales are used in traditional medicine — despite having no medical benefits — and their meat is bought on the black market.

China in January ordered a temporary ban on the trade in wild animals until the epidemic is under control.

The country has long been accused by conservationists of tolerating a shadowy trade in endangered animals for food or as ingredients in traditional medicines.

The SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) virus that killed hundreds of people in China and Hong Kong in 2002-03 also has been traced to wild animals, with scientists saying it likely originated in bats, later reaching humans via civets.

tjx/lth/rbu

© Agence France-Presse

/AFP

Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

Pritam Singh praises his wife on her birthday for teaching Punjabi to children

Singapore — Workers' Party secretary-general Pritam Singh took to social media on Friday (Apr 16) to pay tribute to the special woman in his life. "Happy Birthday dear wife!," he wrote on Instagram "Just thought that the best way I can wish...

Upper Serangoon condo residents losing sleep over 4 fridge-related fires in 2 months 

Singapore—There have been seven fridge-related fires at Riversails Condominium in the past three years, causing much alarm to its residents. Four of the incidents occurred just in the last two months -- the latest in a sixth-floor unit where a fridge caught...

Post goes viral of man who wants to extend hospital stay as nobody cares for him at home

Singapore — A netizen has urged readers on Facebook to take care of their parents while they are still alive, after overhearing an elderly man in a hospital ask to stay longer since, he said, no one took care of him...
Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg 

Theindependent