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China’s ‘bat woman’ virologist rules out Covid-19 virus in fresh tests on old cave samples

Nan Yang

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China’s ‘bat woman’ virologist rules out Covid-19 virus in fresh tests on old cave samples
  • In an update to an earlier paper that spawned conspiracy theories, Shi Zhengli details how they found a bat virus ‘96 per cent similar’ to the pandemic coronavirus
  • No signs of the new virus in samples taken from miners sickened eight years ago, she says
Josephine Ma
Published: 9:00am, 21 Nov, 2020
A Chinese team of scientists has detailed how they found a bat virus with many similarities to Sars-CoV-2. Photo: Shutterstock

A Chinese team of scientists has detailed how they found a bat virus with many similarities to Sars-CoV-2. Photo: Shutterstock

Fresh tests of blood samples taken eight years ago from a group of miners who became sick after working in bat caves in southwest China show that none of them were infected with the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

Chinese virologist Shi Zhengli, known as China’s “bat woman” for her extensive research on coronaviruses in the mammals, released the details in an update published this week in the scientific journal Nature, expanding on a paper released in February.
In the update, Shi said her team recently retested the samples taken from the miners and confirmed that they were not infected with Sars-CoV-2.


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