Where did coronavirus come from? What’s known about the source of novel coronavirus 2019 (SARS-CoV-2/covid 19) outbreak so far?
Similar strains of the virus were found in bats. However, the closest of these strains to the covid19 sequence found in bats would have to go through quite a number of mutations to arrive at a spike shape that fits the human receptor required for human infection well.
This all but ruled out direct transmission from bats to humans. Consequently, a search has been ongoing for a supposed “intermediate host” that could have passed the virus onto humans.
Initially, two types of snakes, the Chinese krait and the Chinese cobra, 2 snakes sold at the Huanan seafood wholesale market in wuhan, were touted as the possible intermediate hosts. However, this has since been disproved scientifically due to a number of reasons.
So a similar strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was isolated in the pangolin. One particular strain of the pangolin virus was found to have a better human receptor fit (91%), giving a bit more leverage to the hypothesis that the pangolins were an intermediate host for the virus.
Is this true? Or has the pangolin been chosen as “the fall guy” due to the fact that it’s so widely poached to the point of being considered endangered?
Meanwhile, recent news update has it that the Chinese govt has tightened scrutiny of academic research papers tracing the origin of the SARS-CoV-2, demanding that all such research works be approved by academic committees of universities before being sent to the education ministry’s science and technology department.
After this, the paper will be sent to a task force under the state council for further scrutiny. The papers can only be submitted to journals after a university gets approval from this task force.
If the pangolin could speak, what would it say?
IT WASN’T ME?
As a joinder to my poser in my previous post about the possibility of the #covid19 having already swept through Nigeria around the months from December to February, and the possible impact of temperature and humidity to the virulence of this virus, here’s a link to a BBC 👇👇
Written by Dr. UrchillaDean