By Jackie Salo
February 3, 2020 | 11:51am | Updated
There’s growing evidence that bats sparked the new coronavirus that has killed more than 350 people, researchers said Monday.
Two new studies published Monday in the journal Nature reveal that genetic makeup for the new virus taken from several patients was closely related to a bat coronavirus.
In one study, researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China analyzed samples from seven patients, six of whom were workers at a seafood market in Wuhan, where the new coronavirus was believed to have originated.
The genome sequences of the new strain — dubbed 2019-nCoV — were 96% identical to coronaviruses found in bats, suggesting that they were the likely hosts of the disease, researchers said.
SARS was believed to have emerged from bats, although it spread to civet cats before infecting humans during the 2003 outbreak.
In the second…
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