The coronavirus emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December and is thought to have leaped to humans at the seafood and wild-animal market, where numerous first people to become infected worked or attended.
A coronavirus isolated from pangolins is a 99 per cent genetic match to the one that has killed more than 600 people since an outbreak began in central China last month, according to a study by a team of Chinese civilian and military scientists.
When asked during a press conference Friday where the pangolin samples used for the research came from, one of the researchers, professor Feng Yaoyu, declined to say. Thus, suggesting that the virus behind the outbreak of the disease within the country could have been transmitted from bats to humans via the illegal trafficking of the scaly mammals.
"The virus was probably unable to infect humans directly through bats, so it had to go through an intermediate animal to further mutate in order to infect humans".More news: Coronavirus: Latest confirmed case in California, takes United States total to 13
According to China's Xinhua news service, the investigators discovered that samples of coronaviruses obtained from uncontrolled pangolins and from contaminated patients are 99% indistinguishable.
Neil D'Cruze, global head of wildlife research at World Animal Protection, also supported other expert's claims for additional information on the coronavirus source.
At least one species of pangolin can die from coronaviruses, according to a study published past year.
Now, a group of researchers from South China Agricultural University in Guangdong suggest the coronavirus' intermediate host might have been the pangolin, an endangered mammal.More news: OnePlus 8 series design, 120Hz display confirmed ahead of launch
A greater horseshoe bat, a relative of those Rhinolophis sinicus bat species out of China which was the source of the SARS virus.
Experts believe the outbreak originated at wild animal markets in Wuhan, China.
That same receptor exists in bats, pigs, and civets, which is why they're the most likely intermediary-species candidates. The virus killed 774 people and infected more than 8,000 in eight months.
Before the Wuhan virus or 2019-nCoV, there were SARS and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) that also originated from animals.More news: LeBron James Comments On Possibly Playing In The Olympics
The death toll from coronavirus has risen to more than 630, with all but two of the deaths in mainland China. Wong scanned existing genomic data of coronaviruses derived from animals that are known to be in China.