CAMBODIAN SCIENTISTS: VIRUS IN BAT COLLECTED IN 2010 MATCHES COVID-19
Cambodian scientists have discovered that viral sequences from horseshoe bats collected in 2010 match closely the COVID-19 virus found in Wuhan City, China, the epicenter of pandemic outbreak in 2019.
Those horseshoe bat viruses have a 92.6 percent similarity with the COVID-19 pathogen, researchers said, Simone McCarthy reported for the South China Morning Post (SCMP) late on January 28, 2021. Virologists have confirmed that the closest known relative to COVID-19 was a bat virus found in Yunnan province, which had a 96.2 percent match.
The finding, disclosed in a research released, is significant since it comes as the World Health Organization (WHO) starts its investigation in Wuhan into the origins of the coronavirus which causes the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Cambodian researchers said the samples they tested came from samples stored in a freezer for more than a decade.
Two viruses found in the samples have a 92.6 percent similarity to SARS-CoV-2 behind the COVID-19 pandemic.
That makes them the closest relatives uncovered outside China and adds new information to the investigation into where the pathogen came from.
Other virologists from the US, Thailand and Vietnam theorized earlier that the virus could have come from Southern China or neighboring countries.
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