It turns out the SARS-CoV-2 virus is not the only Coronavirus you need to look out for. Scientists have recently found out about 6 new Coronaviruses in bats in Myanmar. These new strains are not even closely related to the genetic pattern of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. They are also not familiar with any of the other two Coronavirus which causes severe respiratory diseases.
The Coronavirus in general causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). These new strains of coronavirus are present in bats around Myanmar. This entire expedition of research is under a government-funded project by the name of PREDICT. Its purpose is to predict which diseases can jump from animals to humans. Also because bats are primary suspects in case of any SARS disease. Because bats are host to thousands of not-yet-discovered coronavirus.
6 New Coronavirus in bats:
The novel Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 is might also be an origin of bats. Team PREDICT collected numerous samples of bats to help them in their research. They took samples of saliva and guano of almost 460 bats from 11 different species. All of the samplings took place around 3 different locations in Myanmar.
One of these sites also featured a cave network. These cave sites are hit tourist spots where people come into contact with bat droppings.
The new viruses belong to 3 different species of bats:
- Scotophilus heathii, commonly known as the Great Asian Yellow house bat, houses the PREDICT-CoV-90 virus.
- Chaerephon plicatus, commonly known as the Wrinkle lipped free-tailed bat, serves host to the PREDICT-CoV-47 virus and the PREDICT-CoV-82 virus.
- Hipposiderus larvatus, commonly called Leaf nose bat, is host to the PREDICT-CoV-92, PREDICT-CoV-93, and PREDICT-CoV-96 virus.
But further research will help understand the true potential of these viruses. Contact between humans and animals need to be minimal. Consumption of all wild bats should be stopped. Because most of these viruses arise from bat to human transmission. The Coronavirus continues to ravage the world as we speak.