Coronavirus linked to Civet cat, a Chinese delicacy

Coronavirus linked to Civet cat, a Chinese delicacy

New information coming to light that the highly contagious Coronavirus may have been spread from animals to humans.

Based on a report from CNN, there are 218 confirmed cases of the virus with most of the cases being recorded in Wuhan China, the city in which the virus originated. Two people have died from the virus and there have been four confirmed cases outside of China.

The virus has marred the celebration of the Chinese New Year which takes place today, January 25th. The Government has postponed the celebrations in order to keep the spread of the virus at bay.

In the CNN report, one strain of the virus originated at a seafood market in Wuhan. It seems that vendors sold wild animals at the market including skinned birds, snakes and raccoon dogs.

Leo Poon, a virologist at Hong Kong University who was among the first to decode the SARS-like Coronavirus believes that the animals may have had the virus first, and spread it to humans.

He said one symptom of the virus is pneumonia.

The virus was first detected in December 2019 and some of the first patients were employed at the seafood market in Wuhan, where the live, wild animals were sold.

One animal in particular, the civet cat, has been linked to the birth of Coronavirus that causes SARS. In 2004, Chinese authorities banned the slaughter and consumption of the cat which is considered a delicacy. However, the animal was seen in a market in Southern China last year by a vendor who confirmed that it was for sale.

The World Health Organization (WHO) will host an emergency meeting on Wednesday to determine if the virus is an international public health emergency.