March 24, 2023

Coronavirus: Is the newly found NeoCov COVID variant by Wuhan scientists the deadliest of all COVID strains? – Times of India

Scientists in China have warned about a new strain of coronavirus, NeoCov, related to the Middle East respiratory syndrome MERS-coronavirus. NeoCoV carries with it the potentially combined high mortality rate of MERS-CoV (where one in three infected people die on average) and the high transmission rate of the current SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the researchers have said.

“Furthermore, our studies show that the current COVID-19 vaccinations are inadequate to protect humans from any eventuality of the infections caused by these viruses,” says the research paper published in the bioRxiv website. The study has not yet been peer-reviewed and has been released in preprint.

“Considering the extensive mutations in the RBD regions of the SARS-CoV-2 variants, especially the heavily mutated omicron variant, these viruses may hold a latent potential to infect humans through further adaptation via antigenic drift,” the
paper adds.

The NeoCoV virus, has been previously linked with outbreaks in countries of the Middle East in 2012 and 2015. It is quite similar to COVID-19 causing coronavirus in many ways. NeoCoV was found in a population of bats in South Africa and has spread exclusively among these animals.

As per a report by Russian news agency Sputnik, experts from the Vector Russian State Research Centre of Virology and Biotechnology issued a statement on Thursday after being briefed about NeoCov, in response to the publication. “Experts from the Vector research centre are aware of the data that Chinese researchers obtained regarding the NeoCov coronavirus. At this time, it’s not about the emergence of a new coronavirus capable of actively spreading among humans.” They added that the Chinese team had outlined potential risks requiring further study.

Currently, the infection caused Omicron variant of the coronavirus is rapidly spreading worldwide. This variant, is notorious for its high transmissibility rate, but is not as severe as its ancestor, Delta variant

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