Journal article

The Origin of COVID-19 and Why It Matters.

David M Morens, Joel G Breman, Charles H Calisher, Peter C Doherty, Beatrice H Hahn, Gerald T Keusch, Laura D Kramer, James W LeDuc, Thomas P Monath, Jeffery K Taubenberger

Am J Trop Med Hyg | Published : 2020


The COVID-19 pandemic is among the deadliest infectious diseases to have emerged in recent history. As with all past pandemics, the specific mechanism of its emergence in humans remains unknown. Nevertheless, a large body of virologic, epidemiologic, veterinary, and ecologic data establishes that the new virus, SARS-CoV-2, evolved directly or indirectly from a β-coronavirus in the sarbecovirus (SARS-like virus) group that naturally infect bats and pangolins in Asia and Southeast Asia. Scientists have warned for decades that such sarbecoviruses are poised to emerge again and again, identified risk factors, and argued for enhanced pandemic prevention and control efforts. Unfortunately, few suc..

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University of Melbourne Researchers