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This new coronavirus might be spreading from dogs to humans

Scientists may have found a new coronavirus spreading from dogs to humans

Scientists may have found a new coronavirus spreading from dogs to humans
A woman holds her dogs during a snow flurry as temperatures dropped below freezing during the third coronavirus lockdown in London, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021.
Associated Press

Scientists recently revealed new research that shows they have discovered a novel coronavirus that can transfer from dogs to humans. The study has been peer-reviewed and published in the Clinical Infectious Diseases medical journal.

  • The coronavirus was first discovered in patients who suffered from pneumonia in Malaysia.

However, it’s still unclear if this specific coronavirus can cause illness or if it can spread between people, according to Gizmodo.

Wait, there’s a dog coronavirus?

Researchers — who published their findings Thursday in Clinical Infectious Disease — looked at a new coronavirus that was found in specific patients. The researchers also grew the virus in a lab.

They found that the virus was a mix of a canine and feline coronavirus that belong to the same genus called alphacoronavirus, which was never been documented in research before. So, basically, this is the first time that a canine-feline coronavirus could infect a human patient.

The researchers found that this specific coronavirus has a specific mutation that isn’t in other dog coronaviruses. The mutation is a deletion in the genome of the virus. That deletion is present in human coronavirus, though, which allows it to transfer to humans.

In fact, virologist Anastasia Vlasova said the deletion is present in versions of SARS-CoV-2 — the novel coronavirus that has been plaguing the world, according to NPR.

“Apparently the deletion is somehow associated with (the virus’) adaptation during this jump from animal to human,” she told NPR.

Should you worry?

This coronavirus isn’t exactly spreading really quickly yet. But it should be considered as we move out of the pandemic, as it could be a sign of what’s to come, according to Gizmodo.

  • “The find is nothing short of worrying, since it seems to be the first known instance of a canine coronavirus jumping the species barrier over to humans,” per Gizmodo.
  • “The risk of the virus further adapting to people in a more destructive way is also absolutely worth keeping a close eye on.”