Published: 29th January 2022
What The FAQ: How deadly is the NeoCov virus? Should you be scared?
Yes, NeoCov does exist and is found in a species of bats called Neoromicia — thus the name NeoCo
Is NeoCov the new deadly cousin of Omicron? Is it really killing one-third of its victims? The internet will have millions of answers to these few questions. But most of them are blown out of proportion.
Does NeoCov exist?
Yes, NeoCov does exist and is found in a species of bats called Neoromicia — thus the name NeoCov. Now, the NeoCov virus is strikingly similar to the MERS-CoV — 85 per cent of their genome sequence matches. The NeoCov variant was found in 2011 in aloe bats or Neoromicia. This species was found in the Afro-Malagasy region.
Can we contract the NeoCov virus?
From as much as we know till now, the NeoCov cannot yet interact with human receptors in its current form. So it cannot infect us now. "NeoCov is an old virus closely related to MERS-CoV which enter cells via DPP4 receptors 2. What’s new: NeoCov can use ACE2 receptors of bats but they can’t use human ACE2 receptors unless a new mutation occurs. Everything else is hype,” tweeted Dr Shashank Joshi, member of Maharashtra State COVID-19 Task Force and Chair of International Diabetes Federation.
Why are we suddenly talking about it?
In a recent paper, Chinese researchers worked on how various Coronaviruses, which are similar to the MERS-CoV reacted to different receptors. This is a paper that hasn't been peer-reviewed yet.
Can the NeoCov kill one in three people?
There is no data or research to support that. This is a rumour that probably originated from the fact that it is close to the MERS-Cov virus.