Sunday, May 23, 2021

"Two New Coronaviruses Make the Leap into Humans"

China has been very fortunate regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. They seem immune to the variant currently ravaging India. And China has not seen the surge in cases that Taiwan is experiencing. And China didn't have the reported uptick in cases after inoculation with their Sinovac vaccine that Seychelles and other countries reported.

Very fortunate.

At this rate Chinese dogs are probably immune to the new coronaviruses as well.

From The Scientist, May 20:

Two viruses from dogs and pigs were isolated from human patients, but neither was proven to cause severe disease or to transmit to other people.

Scientists have identified two new coronaviruses in humans, although neither was proven to cause illness or spread to other people. One study identified pigs as the animal host of one virus, and another study found that a coronavirus had likely stemmed from dogs, the first time a canine coronavirus has been shown to infect humans. 

“This research clearly shows that more studies are desperately needed to evaluate critical questions regarding the frequency of cross-species [coronavirus] transmission and potential for human-to-human spread,” Ralph Baric, a virologist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who was not involved in either study, tells Science.

The dog study, published May 20 in Clinical Infectious Diseases, stemmed from a question Gregory Gray, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Duke University, had early in the pandemic, reports NPR. He wondered whether there were other coronaviruses already infecting people that might one day spark outbreaks, and he asked his graduate student, coauthor Leshan Xiu, to design a test that would detect not just SARS-CoV-2, but previously unknown coronaviruses as well.

The team used its diagnostic test to screen more than 300 nasal swabs taken from pneumonia patients in Malaysian Borneo in 2018. Eight patients, or 2.7 percent, showed evidence of prior exposure to a novel coronavirus, and seven were children, Science reports. For a previously undetected virus, “that’s a pretty high prevalence,” Gray tells NPR. “That’s remarkable.” ....