THE coronavirus could have spread from a Wuhan laboratory which housed 600 bats which attacked and “peed on” scientists, experts say.
One researcher at the Wuhan Center for Disease Control (WCDC) who was urinated on also had bat BLOOD on his skin and was forced to quarantine himself, an academic journal says.
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Scientists at South China University of Technology in Guangzhou believe the lab could be a possible origin of the deadly pandemic.
The facility is located 300 yards from the infamous Wuhan food market where the Chinese government claimed the outbreak – which has killed over 1,500 people – started in December.
Written by Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao, the research journal claimed WCDC “hosted animals in laboratories for research purposes”, including 605 bats captured in nearby provinces.
The paper, titled ‘The possible origins of 2019-nCoV coronavirus’, reports that one researcher named only as JH Tian “was once attacked by bats” and that “the blood of bat was on his skin.”
‘BAT BLOOD ON SKIN’
According to the journal, Tian isolated himself for 28 days after the “bats peed on him.”
As well as the Wuhan food market, the lab is also located near the Union hospital where a group of doctors were the among the first to become infected.
The paper states : “… the Chinese horseshoe bats were natural reservoirs for the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) which caused the SARS outbreak in 2003.”
Earlier this month, the first scientific evidence revealed that the virus DID come from bats and is a version of SARS – a pandemic in 2002-2003 which killed 774 people.
Two new scientific studies, published today in the journal Nature, have together provided the first formal evidence on the deadly new illness.
Their findings confirm that the Wuhan coronavirus is a type of SARS – but one that can spread more easily.
Experts have claimed that up to 60 per cent of the world could contract coronavirus – a figure that could also be applicable to Britain.
Out of the infected population it is estimated that 1 per cent could die, which in the UK’s case would be hundreds of thousands of people.
Professor Ferguson, from the School of Public Health, Imperial College London, told Channel 4 this number is “not absurd”.
He added: “I would much prefer to be accused of overreacting than under reacting.
“This virus is the one which probably concerns me the most out of everything I’ve worked on.”
What is coronavirus?
- Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause infections ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars).
- The virus attacks the respiratory system, causing pneumonia-like lung lesions.
- Some of the virus types cause less serious disease, while others – like the one that caused Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) – are far more severe.
- In 2003 an outbreak of a similar virus, Sars, killed more than 900 around the world within weeks.