Saturday, July 20, 2024

Is NeoCov a new covid variant? Should we be worried? What doctors say

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NeoCov, a type of coronavirus,  that spreads among bats in South Africa may pose a threat to humans in future if it mutates further, according to a study by Chinese researchers. The yet-to-be peer-reviewed study recently posted on the preprint repository BioRxiv, shows that NeoCov is closely related to the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), a viral disease first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012. The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that further studies are required to ascertain NeoCov’s threat to humans.

What doctors say about this NeoCov

What is NeoCov?

NeoCov is not SARS-CoV-2 but associated with the MERS Coronavirus (Middles East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus) is a zoonotic virus which means that it is transmitted between animals and people. “The NeoCov virus is similar to the MERS virus, which is also a Coronavirus but distinct from the COVID-19 virus,” said Dr Bharesh Dedhia, Consultant, Critical Care at P.D. Hinduja Hospital & Medical Research Centre.

Can NeoCov affect humans?

“NeoCov has been seen only in bats and been there for a while. There is no data to suggest human transmission and should not be a worry or concern. So far whatever literature says transmission unlikely to happen,” said Dr Vasant Nagvekar, Infectious Disease Consultant at Global Hospital Parel Mumbai 

It has only been reported in bats and has not been seen in humans yet.

“Whether the virus will pose a risk for humans and how contagious or dangerous it is will require further study,” said Dr. Trupti Gilada, Consultant Physician in Infectious Disease, Masina Hospital, Mumbai

Should we worry?

We should be concerned about any new variants that may emerge, but there is no need to worry. Even MERS, which had infected people, faded out in 2013, and it did not cause widespread infection or a large number of deaths. “Even NeoCov has not infected any humans. Therefore, I don’t believe there is any cause to be concerned or panic right now. We have to keep our guard on, keep wearing our masks and all the regular things which we have followed so far including social distancing and avoiding large crowds, etc,” said Dr Bharesh Dedhia, Consultant, Critical Care at P.D. Hinduja Hospital & Medical Research Centre,



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