The findings have raised concerns among experts about the viruses' potential to infect humans if they...
Digital Desk: Chinese scientists have made a startling discovery on Hainan, a tropical island off the southern coast of China, unearthing eight never-before-seen viruses in rodents. The findings have raised concerns among experts about the viruses' potential to infect humans if they cross the species barrier.
This significant discovery emerged from the ongoing efforts of researchers striving to prepare the world for future pandemics. In their pursuit, they collected nearly 700 samples from rodents inhabiting Hainan and identified eight novel viruses, one of which belongs to the same virus family as SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19.
The results of this study were published in the esteemed journal Virologica Sinica, under the editorial guidance of Dr. Shi Zhengli, renowned for her work with bat coronaviruses and often referred to as the "Bat Woman."
Experts have now called for further experiments to assess the potential human health risks posed by these newfound viruses.
Virologica Sinica, the journal in which the findings were published, operates under the Chinese Society for Microbiology (CSM), an organization linked to the state-affiliated China Association of Science and Technology, which acknowledges administrative oversight from the Chinese Government's Ministry of Civil Affairs, as reported by The Metro News.
The rigorous study analyzed 682 anal and throat swabs collected from a variety of rodents captured on Hainan between 2017 and 2021. These samples were meticulously categorized based on the specific rodent species and the location on the island before being sent to labs for comprehensive examination.
Among the noteworthy findings was a new coronavirus, labeled CoV-HMU-1. This discovery serves as a poignant reminder of the potential threats posed by unidentified pathogens, reaffirming the importance of proactive research and preparation in the face of emerging diseases and pandemics.