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(ASHA): Scientists find 3 viruses similar to Covid-19 in bats living in caves in Laos

Scientists have discovered that bats in limestone caves in northern Laos carry coronaviruses that share key properties with the emerging coronavirus, bringing them closer to identifying the source of the spread of Covid-19.

And the American "Bloomberg" news agency reported - on its website - that researchers at the French Pasteur Institute and the University of Laos were looking for viruses similar to the virus that caused "Covid-19", among hundreds of horseshoe bats that live in the caves of Laos.

The agency added that the scientists found three strains of the virus that possess domains to bind the receptors, which is the part that makes the virus able to bind to the cells of the human body, very similar to those found in the Covid-19 virus.

She indicated that this scientific discovery confirms the existence of viruses related to Covid-19 in nature, and also supports the theory that the pandemic began due to the spread of a virus rooted in bats.

Marc Elliott, head of the Disease Origins Department at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, said that the three viruses found in Laos are "the closest ancestors of the Covid-19 virus that have been discovered to date," adding that these viruses may have contributed to the origins of Covid-19. In the future, it may pose a potential risk of direct transmission to humans.