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NeoCoV Explained: What It is & What It isn’t?

Coronaviruses are a big viral family that can infect both humans and animals. Alpha, gamma, beta, and delta are the 4 genera classified in them. In general, alpha & beta coronaviruses affect mammals like bats and humans, but Gamma and Delta virus infections primarily affect birds. While mammals, particularly bats, are commonly coronavirus carriers, occasional spillover occurrences may occur. Viruses that afflict animals have the potential to spread to people, a process referred to as zoonotic spillover. Spillover is assumed to cause several important infectious disorders, notably COVID-19.

The MERS-CoV: the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus was discovered in 2012 and was transmitted to humans via zoonosis from sick dromedary camels. MERS-CoV has affected approximately 2000 individuals globally since its discovery, primarily in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. WHO estimates a 35 percent case fatality rate with MERS; however, this figure could be inflated because disease monitoring systems might well have overlooked milder instances of MERS-CoV.

What is NeoCoV?

NeoCoV is a bat coronavirus that was discovered for the first time in 2011. This was discovered in a bat species called Neoromicia, from whence the term NeoCoV was obtained. These species, sometimes referred to as aloe bats, are found in the Afro-Malagasy area. NeoCoV has an 85% genome sequence similarity to MERS-CoV, rendering it the closest known relation of MERS-CoV.

Is NeoCoV Capable of Infecting Humans & Causing Significant Mortality?

It’s worth noting that NeoCoV can’t connect with human receptors by nature, meaning that the virus can’t infect humans inside its present form. NeoCoV has still not infected people and has not resulted in any deaths.

While spillover occurrences are uncommon, more interaction can speed up such events. Genomic monitoring of animal and human viruses is thus critical to comprehending the virus range and, potentially, early detection of possible spillover occurrences. To avoid future outbreaks, it will also be critical to keep an eye here on the virus family for signs of zoonosis whilst continuing study into the complicated receptor utilization of distinct coronaviruses.

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