Coronavirus And SARS: How Are They Similar To Each Other?

Since January, the coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has managed to turn into an isolated case in Wuhan, China, to a full pledged global public health emergency that has already affected thousands. Fortunately, researchers found that 80 percent of its genetic coding is similar to the last zoonotic virus SARS and that it also came from bats.

Striking Similarities

This report comes amid the coronavirus already managing to infect around more than 20,000 people while killing 425.

Earlier this week, however, a pair of studies published in the scientific journal Nature discussed how related the 2019-nCoV and SARS virus really is since they come from the same virus family.

“In essence, it’s a version of SARS that spreads more easily but causes less damage,” Ian Jones, a virologist at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, said. And while this doesn’t directly mean that we can now develop a cure, it can be an important clue all the same.

Much like the coronavirus outbreak today, the SARS epidemic started back between 2002 and 2003 by jumping from animals to humans via bats. Due to this (and other similarities), scientists decided to collect samples of both genomes and compare it with each other. The samples were then taken from seven patients who appeared to have “severe pneumonia,” six of which worked at the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan, where the outbreak is believed to have started.

The analyses then revealed that 70 percent of the samples were “nearly identical” and that their genetic sequence was also similar by about 79.5 percent.

A second study then showed that a virus that infected a man with respiratory symptoms and a fever is 89 percent similar to a group of “SARS-like coronaviruses.” This led to scientists identifying both as almost similar.

And per the latest release, a vaccine is now under development. However, it has not yet been approved or released. In the meantime, the researchers stated that people who are suffering from the coronavirus should use antibodies in order to neutralize the virus and prevent another bacterial attack in the body.

Wuhan Coronavirus Wuhan seafood market closed after the new coronavirus was detected there for the first time on January 1, 2020. SISTEMA 12/Wikimedia Commons