Recent reports by news organisations with misleading headlines and viral messages claim the discovery of a new strain of the coronavirus named ‘NeoCoV’. The reports also suggest that it “kills 1 in 3” people.
However, Quint FIT has debunked this misinformation circulating on social media. NeoCoV is neither a new virus nor is it a variant of COVID-19. Additionally, there have been no confirmed cases of NeoCoV in humans so far.
The study, conducted by Chinese scientists, discovered that NeoCoV and its close relative, PDF-2180-CoV, could potentially use a human and bat Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor for entry. This means it has the potential to infect humans. The study states that the possibility depends on its re-combinations or mutations.
FIT went through the study that these reports were based on and did not find any evidence of the claims. Moreover, the study has not been peer-reviewed.
What we do know about NeoCov:
- NeoCoV is not a new virus, it was first found in 2014
- The virus is only found in bats and has not infected or killed a human being so far
- The study which talks about the NeoCoV’s potential to infect humans, is not peer-reviewed
- NeoCoV is not a new variant of COVID-19
The World Health Organisation on Friday said that NeoCov requires further study.