Explainer: What is new coronavirus NeoCov that kills 1 in 3 patients? Find out the truth

WION Web Team
Beijing Updated: Jan 30, 2022, 06:39 PM(IST)

Should you be worried about new type of coronavirus, NeoCov? (representative image) Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

It is a new strain or another type of coronavirus like SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19. It is not a new variant like Omicron or Delta. It is ‘believed’ to be highly transmissible and have high mortality rate. It has been found in only bats in South Africa but may pose threat to humans in future if it mutates further, as per the study by Chinese researchers

Since the new type of coronavirus, NeoCov, has been reported by Wuhan scientists in China, the world seems to be witnessing sleepless nights.   

The speculation about its severity has been tormenting numerous people. Read on to know the truth behind this type of coronavirus.  

 

Is it a new variant or a different type of coronavirus?  

It is a new strain or another type of coronavirus like SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19. It is not a new variant like Omicron or Delta. The study by the researchers from Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wuhan University shows that NeoCov is closely related to the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), a viral disease, which was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

 

Also Read: BA.2 subvariant more transmissible than original Omicron: Scientists

  

How worried should we be?  

It is ‘believed’ to be highly transmissible and have high mortality rate. According to the Wuhan scientists, one in three patients infected by NeoCov can die due to the complications.  

  

Has it been found in humans yet?   

No. It has been found in only bats in South Africa but may pose threat to humans in future if it mutates further, as per the study by Chinese researchers. "It is only one mutation away from becoming dangerous for humans," the researchers said.

NeoCov can penetrate human cells in the same way as SARS-CoV-2, the scientists from the Wuhan University in China added.   

  

Also Read: China quietly locks down area near Beijing after COVID-19 cases

  

What is WHO saying?  

The WHO has said that more research is needed to ascertain its effects on humans. "Whether the virus detected in the study will pose a risk for humans will require further study," the health body was quoted as saying to TASS news agency.   

 

Has the study been peer-reviewed?  

The study, which has been cited in the media reports, have not been peer-reviewed yet. It is an important step for any study to get authenticity. The study has been recently posted on the preprint repository BioRxiv.  

(With inputs from agencies)

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