What is this new HIV-like virus about to spread to humans?

According to American researchers, a highly deadly virus in monkeys in Africa is “on the verge of spreading” to humans. It causes symptoms such as fever or internal bleeding.

The beginning of the new pandemic threat ? A new virus, from the family of arterivirus – already endemic in African monkeys – it could be “is about to spread “ in humans, according to a study by University of Colorado researchers published Sept. 30 in the journal Cell. The virus causes deadly and devastating Ebola-like symptoms such as fever, fluid retention in body tissues, anorexia or internal bleeding. In infected monkeys, it is fatal in most cases within two weeks of infection.

For The image of HIV, another well-known virus and also born in African monkeys, arterivirus hijacks the immune system, disables major defense mechanisms, and breaks down the body cell by cell as it takes hold in the body over the long term.

This virus has figured out how to access human cells, multiply and evade some important immune mechanisms that we expect to protect us from an animal virus, it’s pretty rare. “said Sara Sawyer, lead author of the study, professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology. “We have to pay attention to it. “

A virus to watch out for

And no cases have yet been diagnosed and formalized in humans, researchers cannot guarantee that no human has been in contact with the arterivirus, nor do they know what impact the virus would have on humans if it were to change its “species”. “Just because we haven’t diagnosed a human arterivirus infection yet doesn’t mean no humans have been exposed. “confirmed Professor Cody Warren, co-author of the study.

To avoid a pandemic like Covid-19, in both animals and humans, researchers are calling for vigilance and recommending that the global health community develop tests quickly and closely monitor the virusright now”. However, they reassure by pointing out that this new pandemic is not imminent and that the general public need not worry for the moment.

Covid is just the latest in a long line of spillover events from animals to humanssome of which have resulted in global disasters“said Professor Sara Sawyer.”Our hope is that by increasing awareness of the viruses that we should be paying attention to, we can get ahead of the game, so that if human infections start to occur, we will be there quickly.. “

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