New Virus Discovered In China '94.5% Identical To COVID-19':
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Researchers made the discovery in a regional bat. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has previously warned more diseases like COVID-19 can jump from animals to humans, calling the threat 'Disease X'. The scientists said the disease, called RpYN06, was almost identical to SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19.

In a stark warning, the Chinese researchers said RpYN06 was the closest disease to COVID-19 so far as it shares a similar spike protein. The spike protein is the structure on the outside of the virus that it uses to bind to human cells. So far, no other viruses found in bats or animals have had as similar a structure to SARS-CoV-2.

The team looked at 411 samples collected from 23 bat species in China during 2019 and 2020, and found four viruses related to SARS-CoV-2 were discovered. In addition to RpYN06, the authors said in their paper “the other three SARS-CoV-2 related coronaviruses were nearly identical in sequence”.

Their findings highlight the remarkable diversity of bat viruses but warned it is essential that further surveillance efforts should cover a broader range of wild animals in this region to help track ongoing spill-overs of [viruses] from animals to humans. It follows virologist Chris van Tulleken warning another viral pandemic could be more deadly than the current COVID-19 epidemic.

Source:
https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1409329/Coronavirus-news-china-bat-disease-x-world-health-organisation-virus-pandemic-ont
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