The hunt for the next potential coronavirus animal host
Some scientists warn there’s a small but real possibility the virus could take refuge in a new animal host and reintroduce it to humans in the future.
As COVID-19 blisters its way around the globe, much of the focus has been on stopping the spread of the virus and treating those who are sick. But virologists say there’s something else that deserves our focus as well—the search for future animal hosts. Experts say that it’s possible the virus could take hold in a new species and build a redoubt for reinfecting people in the future.
“As the virus is spreading around the world, it might find entirely new reservoir hosts [outside of] China,” says virologist Ralph Baric at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. “We don’t know. It is something every country needs to be thinking about as the epidemics wind down.”
Coronaviruses are notoriously promiscuous. Bats