In the latest research done by scientists at the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, USA and confirmed by researchers at the South China Agricultural University, the deadly coronavirus that likely originated from bats were then passed on to pangolins before being transmitted to humans according to The Daily Maverick.
While the world is in fear of the virus that has already claimed the lives of hundreds and infected thousands, professor Yan Xiang at the University of Texas said that a genetic sequence of the virus from pangolins is 99% identical to the coronavirus, according to Deutsche Welle (DW).
“This latest novel coronavirus is likely to be a hybrid of two very similar coronaviruses – in this case, a mixture of the coronavirus identified in bats in China’s Yunnan province that showed a 96% similarity with the current coronavirus [affecting humans] and the coronavirus found in pangolins,” Xiang added.
“The virus was probably unable to infect humans directly through bats, so it had to go through an intermediate animal to further mutate in order to infect humans.”
Pangolins are endangered and the most trafficked animal in the world.