On the evening of March 9, Shi Zhengli, director of the New Infectious Disease research center of Wuhan Institute of Virus Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, made a guest appearance in the “2020 Science Anti-Epidemic” online public welfare class. She clarified that the new coronavirus is by no means man-made, and that the closure of the seafood market in South China has indeed made it difficult for the new coronavirus intermediate host to trace the origin. She also cautions that the next bat coronavirus trans-ethnic infection is still a high probability event.
South China Seafood Market Closure Sits Missing Wildlife Sample Collection
On March 9th, at 8 p.m., the second issue of the “2020 Science And Epidemic” series of science and public welfare live events, co-sponsored by the President of Capital Medical University, Rao Yi, and others, was launched, and the guests were Shi Zhengli. This is the first time since the outbreak, she has been speaking to the audience about the new coronavirus-related situation.
Shi Zhengli pointed out in the live broadcast, in 2003 when the SARS coronavirus spread, Hong Kong scientists in Guangdong before the market closed, successfully collected samples, and soon found and SARS coronavirus homologous 99.7% of the virus intermediate host, and then, the academic community spent 8 years to find the source of the virus host is bats.
In the trace of the new coronavirus, the process of collecting wildlife samples has been missing due to the closure of the seafood market in southern China, Mr Shi said. In this context, she believes, finding the middle host of the new coronavirus is the need to understand what wildlife they have come into contact with through patients, and by the people who sell them to understand where they come from. Shi Zhengli also suggests that the main habitat of natural host bats, such as Yunnan, needs to look for clues.
The new coronavirus is by no means man-made and controversial gene sites have been found in bats
The new coronavirus has been confirmed as a “sister virus” of the same origin as SARS coronavirus. Nandu reporter learned that previous research pointed out that the new coronavirus and SARS virus compared to the genetic sequence PRRA site differences, suspected to have “artificial insertion” traces, triggered netizens on the “new coronavirus is artificial” speculation.
In the live classroom, Shi Zhengli clearly clarified that the new coronavirus is absolutely not man-made. She explained that studies have shown that PRRA sites consistent with the new coronavirus have been found in coronaviruses extracted from bats. “This proves that this site is not artificially inserted, it is found in the bat population.”
Bat coronavirus direct transmission probability is low, still a high probability of the next new coronavirus
Can coronaviruses in bats infect humans directly? Shi Zhengli said his team found that antibodies to SARS coronavirus were detected in people in close contact with bats, showing signs of infection in humans, but none of them had any clinical symptoms. “This suggests that bats have a good chance of infecting people, but the probability is low, and the body’s immune system is able to remove the virus.”
“I didn’t expect the new bat SARS virus to happen at the end of 2019, and it’s in the city where I live. Shi Zhengli concluded by saying that of the 12 coronaviruses extracted from bats by her team, SARS coronavirus is the most contagious. She reminded that SARS coronavirus cross-ethnic infection will still be a high probability event, the next new coronavirus may still appear, should be taken in advance to do a good job of prevention.