The researchers have established the “pedigree” of the coronavirus. It turned out that it has a “distant relative”, which appeared 70 years ago. For a long time it was not a problem for people, but became active from 1948 to 1982, causing an infectious disease. Moreover, scientists found out that the virus, like SARS-CoV-2, first appeared in China, and was initially carried by bats.
The authors of the study note that viruses actively exchange genetic information with each other. However, different versions of coronavirus have different “ancestors”.
“The closest relative of coronavirus is the virus of bats RaTG13 – their genome coincides by 96%. Plus, there is a related virus Pangolin-2019”, – noted the scientists.