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Related coronaviruses infect about 66,000 people annually in Southeast Asia – study

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SHANGHAI — About 66,000 people in Southeast Asia are infected with SARS-related coronaviruses each year, and nearly 500 million live in habitats where bat hosts for these viruses are found, according to a study released Wednesday. I live nearby.

The study, published in Nature Communications, said that bat-to-human viral transmission may be "significantly underestimated," and that mapping bat species in the region could lead to COVID-19. It could help efforts to identify the origin of the , he added.

Researchers have found a SARS-like coronavirus host in an area of ​​5.1 million square kilometers (2 million square miles) stretching from China to Southeast and South Asia. We focused on 26 known bat species. We then incorporated data on antibody levels in people who reported contact with bats.

Southern China, northeastern Myanmar, Laos, and northern Vietnam were identified as regions with the highest diversity of bat species that host the SARS-like coronavirus (SARSr-CoV).

“Our estimate of a median of 66,000 SARSr-CoV infections each year in Southeast Asia suggests that transmission of SARSr-CoV from bats to humans is common in the region, Surveillance and surveillance programs suggest that it is not detected in clinical studies in the majority of cases," they said.

"These data on the geography and scale of spillovers can be used to target surveillance and prevention programs against potential future bat CoV emergencies." the paper said.

COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus strain.

The study's authors include Peter Daszak, a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) team tasked with investigating the origins of COVID-19, the first outbreak of the pandemic. I visited Wuhan early last year.

The WHO said in June that the lack of data from China makes it difficult to determine when and how the coronavirus first entered the human population. said.

A study published in the journal Science at the end of July found that the live wildlife trade was still the best explanation for the origin of the pandemic, and that at the South China Seafood Market he had two separate spillovers. is likely to have occurred. Many of the early cases were clustered. (Reporting by David Stanway, Editing by Miyoung Kim and Gerry Doyle)