Chinese scientists have discovered eight new viruses on Hainan tropical island off the southern coast of China, one of which belongs to the SARS-CoV-2 variety. These viruses have the potential to cause another Covid-like pandemic if they were to ever cross the species barrier. The discovery was made by scientists who were preparing for future pandemics and were investigating the presence of viruses in wildlife. The viruses belong to various families, including arenavirus, astrovirus, coronavirus, pestivirus, parvovirus, and papillomavirus. The research paper suggests that if these viruses cross the host barrier, they could cause zoonosis, and calls for further experiments to determine their effects on humans.
These findings are particularly significant given that China’s virologist Dr. Shi Zhengli, who is also known as Batwoman, has previously warned of the likelihood of another Covid-like pandemic in the future. Her study, which was released in July, has identified 20 viruses with a high risk of causing human outbreaks.
The discovery remains a warning sign of the existence of numerous pathogens with the potential to cross over to humans, highlighting the ongoing threat of pandemics. As the world continues to grapple with the Covid-19 pandemic, the emergence of these new viruses underscores the importance of continued research and preparation for future pandemics.