Four siblings of the species that are thought to be the original source of the novel coronavirus are found in Africa.
The previously undiscovered animals are considered & # 39; sister & # 39; species for the horse bat, which is probably the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bats act as reservoirs for coronaviruses and are immune to them, but have the ability to spread them.
Researchers said that studying the four new species and the viruses they harbored, scientists and medics could help prepare for any future outbreaks.
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Researchers found that the leaf nose bat (pictured) consists of eight distinct lineages; three of these (including this bat) seem to be new to science
The previously undiscovered bat species are closely related to the horse bat (pictured). This winged mammal is thought to be a reservoir for the SARS CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19
How the new coronavirus spread from bats and infected people of 2.5 million
Bats are robust creatures that are known to harbor coronaviruses reservoirs.
Most of these tribes are unable to make the transition from one species to another.
However, a new coronavirus emerged that was not able to flourish as a host.
But it is thought that the SARS CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19 and is the root of & # 39; global pandemic, was first passed on from bats to an intermediate host.
Scientific studies assessed the genetic strain of the virus because it originated in China and believe that this animal was a pangolin.
However, there is much uncertainty among scientists as to what the intermediary may be. It could be pangolins, but it could also be cats, buffalo, cattle, goats, sheep and pigeons. according to one study.
Some experts dispute the existence of an intermediary at all, indicating that the virus could have jumped directly from a horse bat into humans.
But human-animal contact allowed the virus to infect the first person in Wuhan, China, ground zero of the outbreak.
The virus can also be transmitted from human to human, which has seen rapid propagation across the globe, with more than 2.5 million confirmed cases worldwide.
Research into its spread between humans and across humans has found that it is rapidly mutating and several files of the coronavirus now exist in the world.
One study from Cambridge University researchers found that three types of deadly coronavirus spread throughout the world.
Analysis of strains showing type A – the original virus that jumped bats via pangolins to humans – was not the most common in China.
Instead, the ground zero of the pandemic was mainly hit by Type B, which was as far back as Christmas Eve.
Results showed that type A was most common in Australia and the US, which included more than 400,000 COVID-19 cases.
Two-thirds of US monsters were type A – but infected patients mostly came from & # 39; a West Coast, and not New York.
In the case of COVID-19, the new coronavirus jumped out of a chicken coop in Wuhan and infected an intermediary, believed to be a pangolin or shrewd dog, before ending in humans.
The four & # 39; sister & # 39; species are called leafnose bats and were identified by scientists using genetic analysis.
The specimens were all in a museum, but were originally collected in Africa.
The new bats belong to a group of scientifically known as the Hipposideridae, and are also found throughout Asia and Australasia.
They get their name from bizarre flaps of skin on their faces that will help them catch insects and act as radar shells for their echo location call.
Lead author Dr Bruce Patterson, curator of mammals at the Field Museum, Chicago, said: & # 39; With COVID-19, we have a virus running amok in & # 39; e human population.
& # 39; It originated in a horse head in China. There are 25 or 30 types of horse bats in China, and no one can determine which one was there. We owe it to ourselves to learn more about her and her siblings. & # 39;
Scientists who do not define the four types of bat say they are sure that none of the new types of diseases carry that are problematic for human health.
Researchers at the Chicago Field Museum collaborate with colleagues at Maasai Mara University of Kenya and the National Museums of Kenya.
In a study, published today in a special pandemic issue of Zookeys magazine, they said the leaf nodes remained in sight.
They are equal, and yet distinct, from pre-existing species that have not been identified. This, the researchers say, is a good indicator of their close relationship with other assets.
The discovery of & # 39; bats is so short that they have yet to be given specific names and are only mentioned by the generic term & # 39; leaf-nosed & # 39; which is the umbrella term for the animal family to which they belong.
Their discovery is particularly important in light of the COVID-19 crisis, the international team reports.
But although bats are thought to be the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers are urging the public to think rationally and not to condemn bats as inherently filthy as infected animals.
Explains Dr Patterson: & # 39; All organisms have viruses. The roses in your garden have viruses.
& # 39; We worry about viruses when it comes to flu and pandemics, but viruses are part of & # 39; e nature and are as far back as we go. And many viruses are harmless. & # 39;
Bats get a lot of infections without suffering from any serious detrimental effects, because they have exceptionally fast metabolism and robust DNA, which is unable to repair any damage.
People do not have these capabilities.
Images appeared this year on Twitter earler who made soup with a bat. Bats are used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a series of illnesses, including cough, malaria and gonorrhea. Bats have been confirmed to be the most likely source of infection
Pictured, another of the & # 39; s new bat types. Discovery of bats is so recent that they have yet to receive specific names and are only mentioned by the generic term leafnose that does not refer to the corresponding umbrella term for the family of which the animals belong
Members of a third new species. A colony of what appears to be a new species of Hipposideros is pictured at an abandoned gold mine in Western Kenya
Large colonies cuddle together and this allows the virus to spread through the group. Meanwhile, their ability to fly has a wide geographical reach.
Despite this, flags are exclusive creatures and prevent active interactions with humans.
Dr. Terry Demos, a postdoctoral researcher and lead author of & # 39; the study, also believes that the & # 39; The new bats and the virus kept in the cold helps to compare future outbreaks with COVID-19's current disease.
He said, & # 39; Except when you try to search for bats, whether they are criminalizing or killing them, it is very, very unlikely that they will infect you.
& # 39; Leaf bats carry coronaviruses – not the strain that currently has humans.
& # 39; But this is certainly not the last time a virus from a wild mammal is transmitted to humans.
& # 39; If we have better knowledge of what these batons are, we will be better prepared than that
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