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China's 'batwoman' claims outbreak of new SARS-like pandemic 'highly likely'

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Beijing | September 25, 2023 10:46:53 PM IST
Virologist Shi Zhengli who is also dubbed as China's "batwoman" along with her team has cautioned that a new Covid-like pandemic is 'highly likely' and can be brought on by bats, according to Global Times.

Theresearch revealed that coronaviruses and their hosts are engaged in an evolutionary arms race that promotes genetic variety in the virus.

The virologist along with her Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) team classified half of the 40 coronavirus species under the category of "highly risky" after evaluating the possibility of human spillover. There is evidence that three more of these caused disease or infected other animal species, and six of them are previously known to have caused diseases that affected people.

"It is almost certain that three will be further disease emergence and it is highly likely that a [coronavirus] disease will emerge again,' the study warned, according to Global Times.

This article was released in July's issue of the English-language journal Emerging Microbes & Infections. Recently, it has drawn interest on Chinese social media.

However, despite the claims made by China's "batwoman"and her warning regarding the outbreak of another coronavirus outbreak, other Chinese virologists dismissed the claims that the three-year-old global pandemic would recur, arguing that the increased protection that the majority of people acquired during that time may help prevent future outbreaks.

These virologists did, however, also issue occasional coronavirus outbreak warnings in the future. The new coronavirus, often known as SARS-CoV-2, has been spreading quickly since late 2019.

According to a September 5 paper from the journal Emerging Microbes & Infections, the Omicron strain has been the main variety of concern in most nations since November 2021, Global Times reported.

Chinese physicians and medical professionals have urged the public to have booster vaccinations by the end of October in view of the twin threat of Covid-19 and influenza this autumn and winter. (ANI)

 
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