(CTN News) – A newly discovered bat virus in Thailand is expected to cause human infections, according to Dr Peter Daszak, head of the controversial non-profit organization EcoHealth Alliance, during a meeting of the World Health Organization (WHO).
There has been an association between the research group and Wuhan experiments in the past.
In Thailand, bat faeces are used as fertilizer by farmers for their crops in a cave that contains the unknown Bat Virus. The WHO event was attended by Dr. Daszak, who reported that “we discovered several coronaviruses related to SARS, but one in particular was prevalent in bats, where people were commonly exposed to the disease.”.
Further, he stated, “We consider this to be a potential zoonotic pathogen since there is a virus in bats, right now in a cave that is highly exposed to Bat Virus feces. And this Bat Virus is shed in bat feces, so there is the potential for emergence.”
Dr Daszak, a British-born scientist, has consistently rejected the lab leak theory and maintained that the Coronavirus originated naturally.
As reported by the WHO, this revelation occurs during a global surge in Coronavirus cases, with 42% more hospitalizations across 50 countries. A JN.1 Covid variant, first identified in September in France, is believed to be responsible for the increase.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this variant accounts for approximately 60% of all new infections in early January.
World Health Organization has classified JN.1 as a “Bat Virus variant of interest,” acknowledging its rapid spread, but stating that it poses a “low” risk to public health worldwide.
Formerly classified as a variant of interest (VOI), the JN.1 sub-variant originally belonged to the BA.2.86 sub-lineage. Nevertheless, WHO has stated that JN.1 poses a low global public health risk.