UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Studies show that pangolins can be intermediate hosts of a new type of coronavirus, said Liang Wannian, head of the COVID-2019 expert committee on responding to COVID-2019, at a press conference.
Pangolins, or lizards, are a detachment of placental mammals. The body of the animal is covered with large horny rhombic scales that overlap tiling on top of each other. Pangolins inhabit open areas and tropical forests, lead a nocturnal lifestyle, and during the day hide in deep burrows or hollows and tree crowns.
They feed on ants and termites. Pangolins are mined due to meat and scales, which are attributed to medicinal properties.
“At the moment, studies show that (the original – ed.) Host animal of a new type of coronavirus could be bats, and the pangolins may be one of the intermediate hosts,” said Liang Wannian.
Earlier, a group of scientists from the South China Agricultural University and the modern agriculture laboratory in Guangdong conducted research and found out that pangolins could be intermediate hosts of a new type of coronavirus.
Later, the head of the department for scientific and technical development of the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China, Wu Yuanbin, said bats are the most likely source of coronavirus, according to the ministry.
On December 31, 2019, the Chinese authorities informed the World Health Organization about an outbreak of unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan in the central part of the country (Hubei Province).
Experts have identified the causative agent of the disease – this is a new coronavirus. WHO recognized the outbreak as an emergency of international importance and gave the disease its official name – COVID-19.
The number of people infected in mainland China has already exceeded 77 thousand people, 2592 have died, over 24 thousand have been cured. The number of infections outside of China, according to the WHO, reached 1769, 17 people died.
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