While bats were thought to be the likely carriers of the novel 2019 #coronavirus, a team at @hkumed found that pangolins, scaly-skinned animals native to Asia, also called ‘scaly anteaters’, may be one of the missing links for the virus to jump from animals to humans. #COVID19 1/
They studied this by extracting the genes of coronaviruses isolated in pangolins, seized from anti-smuggling operations, and discovered that up to 92% of these genes were similar to those in human 2019 coronavirus ( #SARS_COV_2 ). 2/
This study concluded that pangolins were identified carriers of a coronavirus that was highly related to the human #SARS_COV_2; bringing us closer towards identifying the virus’s source. 3/
As such, these animals should be removed from wet markets to prevent the risk of animal-to-human transmission.

For more on the study from Dr. Tommy Lam of @hkumed, and others. 4/ https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2169-0
You can follow @hkumed.
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