June 24, 2018

Pig virus poses potentially lethal threat to humans, scientists warn (Theweek)

Pig virus poses potentially lethal threat to humans, scientists warn (Theweek)

A recently identified lethal virus that occurs mainly in pigs may also pose a threat to humans, new research has suggested.

Laboratory tests at Ohio State University show that the disease, known as porcine deltacoronavirus, “readily jumps between the cells of different species including humans”, The Daily Telegraph reports.

The virus was first identified in pigs in China six years. It was then found to be the cause of a diarrhoea outbreak among pigs in Ohio in 2014, followed by reports of more cases in other countries. “Young infected pigs experience acute diarrhoea and vomiting and may die,” according to BT News.

The pathogen shows similarities to Mers (Middle East respiratory syndrome) and Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome), which have killed a total of at least 1,000 people worldwide since being discovered in 2012 and 2002 respectively. Read more

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