The coronavirus has existed for 40 years and there has probably been direct bat-human contagion | Science and Technology

According to Santiago Abascal (Vox), COVID-19 is the fault of the “Chinese communist government.” Science says otherwise: an international study published by the journal Nature Microbiology indicates that SARS-CoV-2 has been circulating among bats for many decades without being detected by anyone.

Furthermore, the study’s lead author, Maciej F. Boni, from Pennsylvania State University (USA), has explained to the scientific information agency SINC that the most likely scenario is that of a virus from a population of bats in Yunnan province, in southeastern China, “where the viruses with the closest kinship come from” to SARS-CoV-2, which jumps directly to humans .

The purpose of the study was to reconstruct the family tree of the virus, which has already infected more than 16.5 million people around the world. And the results leave no room for doubt: the DNA of the SARS-CoV-2 and that of another coronavirus that affects bats are 96% identical, but the lineage the two were separated between 40 and 70 years ago, which leaves open the possibility that new, yet unknown and potentially dangerous variants have emerged.

According to SINC, these are viruses with a high capacity to exchange genetic material, so the authors believe that “it will be difficult to identify viruses with the potential to cause sprouts important in humans before they emerge. “

The study does not support the pangolin or snake hypothesis as an intermediate step between bats and humans, but it does not rule it out either. What the authors do consider “unlikely” is that was created in a laboratory, as many supporters of the conspiracy theory maintain.

Maciej F. Boni also bets on November of last year as the most probable date of the jump to humans, which would confirm that the detection of the virus in fecal water samples from Barcelona in March 2019 was due to an error.

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