Experts say bats could be behind deadly coronavirus outbreak

Edited By: Sparshita Saxena WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Feb 01, 2020, 01:29 AM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

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According to the latest study published in the journal 'The Lancet', US experts, so far, have been able to trace the virus to bats.

As world economies prepare themselves to tackle the menace of coronavirus outbreak, experts spar over the origins of the deadly virus. 

According to reports, experts believe that bats could be the source of the deadly virus. 

As per the latest study published in the journal 'The Lancet', US experts, so far, have been able to trace the virus to bats. 

Why bats are sought as the most probable culprits is because of their association with deadly viruses like Marburg and Hendra. Not to mention, the deadly outbreak of Nipah virus last year in the southern Indian state of Kerala was also linked to fruit-eating bats.

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Bats have traditionally been found to have spurred outbreaks in countries like Uganda, Bangladesh among others and are believed to be the natural hosts of the Ebola virus, SARS and MERS. 

Interestingly, the link between bats and novel coronavirus looks stronger as the 2019-nCoV is a virus similar to SARS and MERS coronaviruses that also bear associations with the winged mammal. 

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A 2017 study published in journal Nature found bats to harbour more fatal viruses than other species. Experts studied over 150 known zoonotic viruses to arrive at the finding that bats' capability to host these viruses was "significantly higher" than other mammals.

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