Home Science Coronavirus cure: Major breakthrough leaves experts on BRINK of vaccine over SARs...

Coronavirus cure: Major breakthrough leaves experts on BRINK of vaccine over SARs link

Coronavirus is reaching pandemic levels, with he virus now infecting at least 20,500 people. More than 400 people have lost their lives as a result of the outbreak, with experts struggling to contain the new strain of the virus known as 2019-nCoV.

However, two new studies have revealed the virus is more similar to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) – which is part of the coronavirus family.

Between November 2002 and July 2003, a major outbreak of SARS occurred in southern China.

More than 770 people across the globe died as a result of the disease, most of which came from China, with almost 8,100 infections.

The virus was believed to have come from bats, who transferred it to civets, a small mammal who lives in the forests of Asia, before humans caught it.

Now experts say nCoV and SARS are virtually the same, with a few differences – and they could even have the same origin.

The major difference, according to Ian Jones, a virologist at the University of Reading, is that nCoV is more viral, but less damaging.

Mr Jones, who was not involved in either study, added this could mean a vaccine for SARS should work for nCoV – also known as the Wuhan virus, as the first cases were reported in the Chinese province.

Mr Jones said: “In essence, it’s a version of SARS that spreads more easily but causes less damage.

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READ MORE: Coronavirus symptoms: How to tell if it’s NOT a cold or the flu 

The researchers discovered that the Wuhan virus shared an 89.1 percent similarity in genome sequences with the SARS-like coronavirus from bats.

The authors of the study stated: “This outbreak highlights the ongoing capacity of viral spill-over from animals to cause severe disease in humans.”

A separate study from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China analysed samples from seven patients, six of whom were workers at a seafood market in Wuhan.

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