The spread of this new virus, which is marked by fevers and pneumonia-like symptoms, conjured a sense of déja vu for some who remember the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak that started in November 2002. That was also a coronavirus, and it jumped to people from animals in wet markets, which the new coronavirus probably did, too.
The 2019-nCoV, appears to be similar to SARS in two other important ways: They share 80% of their genetic codes, and both originated in bats.
Those are the findings of a studypublished Monday in the journal Nature, which took a close look at the Genome of the CoronaVirus (read more)
Experts calles SARS “the first pandemic of the 21st century,” since it spread across 29 countries. The virus emerged in Guangdong and infected 8,098 people over the course of eight months, killing 774. Just one month after the first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus, the total global case count has surpasses that of SARS. The death toll in mainland China has olso excedeed that of SARS Outbreak there.
“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 UK, said in a press release about the new study.