SARS-related viruses infect thousands in Asia every year: Study

About 66,000 people in Southeast Asia are infected each year with SARS-related coronaviruses, and nearly 500 million people live near habitats where bat hosts of those viruses are found, according to a new study.

The research, published by Nature Communications on Wednesday, said viral transmission from bats to humans may have been “substantially underestimated”, adding that its mapping of bat species in the region could aid efforts to determine the origins of COVID-19.

The researchers focused on 26 species of bat known to host SARS-like coronaviruses in a region of 5.1 million square kilometres (2 million square miles), stretching from China to Southeast and South Asia.

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Al Jazeera