A new Coronavirus that has the potential to take the shape of epidemic or pandemic
While the World has almost recovered from the vagaries of Covid-19, a new disease as severe as the Coronavirus has been found by Scientists. The new disease belonging from the same family of viruses as Covid-19 has been detected in Russia. The new virus is Khosta-2 virus and it has the potential to spread to humans worldwide.
The Khosta-2 virus was found in a recent study by the researchers of Washington State University’s Paul Allen School for Global Health. The new virus can even evade the immunological defences provided by the Covid-19 vaccine and infect humans. According to researchers, even though the Khosta-2 virus does not have genes like the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant, but eventually it can change if it gets mixed with SARS-CoV-2 genes.
The Khosta-2 virus was first discovered in the Russian bats in late 2020. The other virus that was discovered was Khosta-1. The Khosta-1 virus does not have any harmful traits that pose threat to humans.
Michael Letko, the scientist involved in the study, told the Time magazine, “We do not want to scare anybody and say this is a completely vaccine-resistant virus. But it is concerning that there are viruses circulating in nature that have these properties they can bind to human receptors and are not so neutralized by current vaccine responses.”
Mr Letko told Newsweek that it was difficult to predict at which stage the Khosta-2 will be a threat to humans and will take the shape of epidemic or pandemic. The Khosta-2 virus is currently circulating in bats, pangolins, racoon dogs and palm civets, added Mr Letko.
“The worry is that SARS-CoV-2 could spill back over to animals infected with something like Khosta-2 and recombine and then infect human cells. They could be resistant to vaccine-immunity and also have some more virulent factors. What the chances of that are, who knows. But it could in theory happen during a recombination event,” said Letko to Time.