New pandemic? Porcine coronavirus can infect humans

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The coronavirus strain found in pigs in China has the potential to infect humans, according to a study by researchers at the University of North Carolina, in the United States, released last Monday (12).

Causing the disease called acute swine diarrhea syndrome (SADS-CoV), this type of coronavirus was first seen in 2016. According to research published in the scientific journal PNAS, it appeared in bats and subsequently contaminated pigs in Chinese territory and in other countries.

During the study, scientists found, after laboratory tests, that this specific strain is able to reproduce efficiently in human liver and intestine cells. The airways can also be infected with this pathogen.

Diarrhea and vomiting are some of the symptoms of the disease in the swine population.Source: Pixabay

“The data shows that SADS-CoV has a wide range of hosts and the inherent potential to spread between animal and human hosts, perhaps using pigs as an intermediate species,” reports the research. Still according to scientists, outbreaks of the disease would have the power to negatively impact the global economy, in addition to posing a serious threat to public health.

Symptoms differ from covid-19

Although it belongs to the same family as the beta-choronavirus Sars-CoV-2, responsible for the 2020 pandemic, SADS-CoV is an alpha-choronavirus that causes gastrointestinal diseases in pigs, instead of reaching the respiratory system, as in the case of covid-19.

The virus causes strong and constant diarrhea and vomiting, but that does not make it any less dangerous than the new coronavirus – it can lead to dehydration and malnutrition and is considered lethal to pigs. The good news is that the use of the antiviral remdesivir, in the infected human cells during the experiment, was able to delay its spread.

There has been no record of humans infected by SADS-CoV yet, the researchers recommend that a continuous monitoring of those who work in swine farming be carried out, to prevent possible outbreaks of the disease.

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