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What is NeoCoV? This mysterious virus is spreading (again) among bats in South Africa

What is the NeoCov virus? Is it a new virus?

SHARE What is NeoCoV? This mysterious virus is spreading (again) among bats in South Africa

What is the NeoCov virus? It’s a coronavirus that has spread across the world before and it’s making headlines again.

Michelle Budge

Scientists from Wuhan, China, recently discovered the NeoCoV coronavirus — which has a high death rate and transmission rate — is spreading through bats in South Africa.

What is NeoCov?: Per Business Insider, NeoCoV is a virus connected to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS COV).

  • One in three people infected could die from NeoCoV.
  • The virus was first found in a bat population and has been known to spread among animals.
  • The NeoCoV has traits from both MERS-CoV and the COVID-19-causing SARS-CoV-2 

Driving the news: A new study — published on preprint and has not been peer-reviewed — has found that antibodies that target both SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, and MERS-CoV, can’t stop NeoCoV.

  • “Our studies have shown that the current COVID-19 vaccinations are inadequate to protect humans from the eventuality of the infection caused by this virus,” researchers said about the virus, according to Business Insider.

Remember: NeoCoV is not new. It was first discovered in 2012 and 2015 in Middle Eastern countries. It has striking similarities to SARS-CoV-2 (the novel coronavirus) in humans.

What’s next: Scientists said they’re unsure what’s next with NeoCoVand if it will pose a threat to humans in the near future.

  • “Whether the virus detected in the study will pose a risk for humans will require further study,” the World Health Organization told Russian news agency TASS.
  • The virus is reportedly one mutation away from being a major threat to humans.