NeoCov: What WHO says on this new coronavirus variant 

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With scientists from China’s Wuhan flagging a concern regarding a more contagious and possibly deadlier strain of coronavirus NeoCov, World Health Organization (WHO) asserted that it still needs to be studied whether it poses threats for humans. 

The scientists have clarified, NeoCov is related to the Middle East respiratory syndrome or MERS-coronavirus. “The virus is discovered in a bat population in South Africa and is currently spreading only among animals,” the scientists said and also added that it has now been found that NeoCoV and PDF-2180-CoV use some types of angiotensin-converting enzyme, including bat ACE2 and human ACE2 for entry.

What did WHO say? 

 “Whether the virus detected in the study will pose a risk for humans will require further study,” WHO told Russian news agency Tass. 

“Animals, particularly wild animals are the source of more than 75% 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,” WHO said.

WHO is aware of the new finding of Wuhan scientists and is in touch with the World Organization for Animal Health, the Food and Agriculture Organization to respond to this.

What is MERS-CoV virus?

The MERS-CoV virus is similar to SARS-CoV-2 in terms of symptoms like fever, cough and shortness of breath and was prevalent in the middle-eastern countries in 2012 and 2015. Many people died due to the infection.

(With inputs from agencies)

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