Study from Great Britain: Scientists have discovered a new coronavirus in bats. Potential mutations that could also be dangerous to humans are a concern.
Scientists in the United Kingdom have discovered the new coronavirus in British bats. The virus is linked to the coronavirus, which infects people as well, according to a letter from the University of East Anglia (UEA). However, there is currently no evidence that this virus has actually spread to humans or that it will spread – unless it mutates.
The researchers had collected faeces from more than 50 samples of lesser horseshoe bat species in Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wales. In doing so, they discovered the new coronavirus “RhGB01”. They assume it’s been around in bats for a long time. It was only discovered now because it had not been examined before.
Researchers warn: mutations must be prevented
Even if there is currently no risk of this virus spreading to humans, the researchers urge caution. It is now important that RhGB01 does not convert. This would be possible if, for example, a person infected with Sars-CoV-2 transmits the infection to a bat that is in turn infected with the new coronavirus. This can alter the virus and infect people as well. People who work with bats should definitely wear protective clothing.
Researcher Andrew Cunningham of the Zoological Society of London, who was involved in the study, said transmission should be completely prevented. This is critical to the success of the current global vaccination campaign against this virus.