Coronavirus in China: consumption of snakes and bat soup among the causes of transmission

    Coronavirus in China: consumption of snakes and bat soup among the causes of transmission

    Coronavirus infection may have originated from bats and snakes, normally eaten in China, where they are considered delicacy

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    The spread of the mortal Coronavirus it could depend on the consumption of snake meat and bat soups.

    As gruesome as it may seem to us, these are dishes that are considered delicious in China, but they could be the main cause of the epidemic.

    The Coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, it is transmitted through the air and primarily infects the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts of mammals and birds causing a named disease MERS, Coronavirus Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.

    La disease was first reported late last year a Wuhan, a major city in central China, and has since been rapidly spreading beyond the country to Japan, Korea and the United States. Up to now they are estimated to have been infected about 400 people, but the toll could be higher: 9 are unfortunately dead.

    As there is no effective treatment for the virus, researchers are working to understand what triggered the outbreak so they can try to prevent and treat infection.

    MERS, as well as SARS - the severe acute respiratory syndrome that killed nearly 800 people 17 years ago - is classified as a zoonotic viral disease: the first infected patients were infected directly by animals. Once the infection from animal to man has occurred, the disease can be transmitted from human to human.

    In the case of this outbreak, most of the hospitalized patients initially worked or frequented the wet markets, where seafood is sold and where various animals, including wild animals, are slaughtered on the spot.

    Since aquatic animals are not infected with the virus, it is plausible that the infection occurred by consuming others animals sold in wet markets.

    Since the Wuhan market has been closed and disinfected, it will be difficult to trace the animal responsible for the initiation of the infection but by analyzing the genetic code of the 2019-nCoV a similarity has emerged with the SAR virus which, as proven by past studies, infects the bat. This suggests that the consumption of bats may be at the origin of the infection on humans.

    La bat soupi it is considered a real delicacy in China. The animal is eaten whole, without even removing its teeth and entrails: in addition to having a disgusting appearance for us, this dish could have caused the epidemic.

    Also, since snakes hunt bats, an additional risk of contagion could come from consumption of snake meat, in particular cobra, also sold in the Wuhan market. According to a study just published in the Journal of Mrdical Virology, the virus is able to mutate inside snakes, increasing the possibility of contagion in different species, including humans.

    How the virus adapts to both cold-blooded and warm-blooded guests remains a mystery, and more DNA analyzes of wild animals and those sold on the market are needed to be able to confirm the origin of the virus. The findings could help develop prevention and treatment protocols.

    This epidemic should make us think about the need to limit or even eliminate the consumption of wild animalsi to prevent infections of this type.

    Read also:

    • Nuova Sars: are the dromedaries the transmission vehicle of the MERS?
    • Hundreds of cats have been saved from the meat trade in China
    • Yulin Festival: the massacre of dogs and cats cooked alive begins
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