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NeoCoV is neither a new virus nor a variant of COVID-19

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.

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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 Moreover, the study has not been peer-reviewed.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  • The study which talks about the NeoCoV’s potential to infect humans, is not peer-reviewed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
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The World Health Organisation on Friday said that NeoCov requires further study.

The Quint

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