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Snakes could be source of deadly coronavirus outbreak, new study says


Added 01-23-20 01:25:03pm EST - “A closer look into the deadly virus that has sickened hundreds in China and around the world suggests the pneumonia-like infection may have come from snakes, a new study has found.” - Nydailynews.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Nydailynews.com: “Snakes could be source of deadly coronavirus outbreak, new study says”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

A closer look into the deadly virus that has sickened hundreds in China and around the world suggests the pneumonia-like infection may have come from snakes, a new study has found.

The newly discovered coronavirus is linked to a large seafood and animal market in Wuhan — a city of 11 million in central China’s Hubei province — which sells birds, bats, snakes, rabbits, hedgehogs, frogs and other live animals.

But a group of scientists has found that snakes are “the most probable wildlife reservoir” for the new virus, according to an article published Wednesday in the Journal of Medical Virology.

“Taken together, our results suggest that homologous recombination within the spike glycoprotein may contribute to cross‐species transmission from snake to humans,” the Chinese scientists wrote.

Health officials in China have temporarily shut down all public transportation in Wuhan and two other nearby cities that have reported large numbers of infected patients. The drastic measures come just days before the Lunar New Year, when millions of people tend to travel for holiday celebrations.

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