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NeoCov virus found in bats: Are humans at risk? WHO responds

Chinese researchers, in a study that is yet to be peer-reviewed, have said that NeoCov could pose a danger to humans if it mutates further.

January 29, 2022 / 11:06 AM IST
NeoCov has been found to be closely related to the virus that caused the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). (Representational image)

NeoCov has been found to be closely related to the virus that caused the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). (Representational image)

Chinese researchers, in a study that is yet to be peer-reviewed, have said that a NeoCov, a type of coronavirus detected in bats in South Africa, could pose a danger to humans if it mutates further.

The study, available on preprint repository BioRxiv, has found that NeoCov resembles the virus that caused the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that further studies are need to ascertain whether the NeoCov will pose a risk to humans, Russia’s TASS news agency reported.

WHO added that it works closely with other agencies like the World Organization for Animal Health to respond to the dangers of “emerging zoonotic viruses”, according to TASS.