Based on an analysis of genetic material, Bosch and De Groot concluded on snake theory: “Unfounded.”
The virologists have long been familiar with coronaviruses. They previously did research on SARS and MERS. According to Bosch and De Groot, the new virus, which has now been named nCoV-2019, belongs to the same family of viruses.
In China, at least eighty people have since succumbed to the virus. The epicenter of the outbreak is the metropolis of Wuhan.
Just like SARS and MERS, the nCoV-2019 virus can cause respiratory infections that can be fatal. Nevertheless, according to the researchers, there are also major differences with SARS and MERS. As a result, it is not yet possible to explain exactly how the corona virus is spreading.
Epidemic not excluded
Bosch and De Groot do not rule out the possibility that the virus will develop into a worldwide epidemic. But they also say that the outbreak is “at an early stage”. “Hopefully the measures will have an effect and the epidemic can be restrained.”