A new COVID-like virus has been identified in bats in China
Chinese and Australian scientists have taken samples from 149 bats across the province of Yunnan and identified five viruses that are "likely to be pathogenic to humans or livestock". Among them was a bat coronavirus closely related to the disease that has gripped the planet for the past two years.
Professor Eddie Holmes, an evolutionary biologist and virologist at the University of Sydney, said: "This means that SARS-CoV-2-like viruses are still circulating in Chinese bats and continue to pose an emergency risk."
Professor Stuart Neil, head of the department of infectious diseases at King's College London, added: "This study gives a very important snapshot into the evolution and ecology of (coronaviruses), the scope for them to recombine and skip into new species regularly."
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