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A new coronavirus fear? Strain seen in swine has potential to jump to humans, study finds

By Martha Quillin, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) on

Published in News & Features

China is the world's larger swine producer, followed by the European Union and the United States. In this country, the industry is concentrated in the Midwest and in Eastern North Carolina.

In reporting its findings, the team recommended continued surveillance in China, for spread of SADS-CoV in swine herds but also for the appearance of unexplained illnesses in people.

China is monitoring for the virus among animals, Edwards said, because of the cost of the ongoing outbreak. But knowing that it could jump species means China also needs to monitor for "spill over" into humans.

In terms of human illness, Edwards said, the Chinese need to be looking for "anything that we haven't seen before."

Graham added, "The tricky part is we don't know what kinds of diseases would manifest" if the virus crossed over to humans.

 

While the virus causes gastrointestinal issues in swine, it might produce respiratory or other issues in people, she said.

The team's research was funded by the N.C. Coronavirus Relief Fund, created by the General Assembly, and by several grants from the National Institutes of Health.

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