Chinese scientists believe pangolins could be an intermediate host for the coronavirus, according to a statement from South China Agricultural University released Friday.
“This latest discovery will be of great significance for the prevention and control of the origin of the new coronavirus,” the researchers wrote.
Research was conducted by scientists at the South China Agricultural University, Lingnan Modern Agricultural Science and Technology Guangdong Laboratory, according to the university statement. The statement provided no further information.
The outbreak is believed to have begun at a food market in Wuhan, China.
The virus may have originated in bats and spread to humans via another animal, according to Reuters. The pangolin is a widely trafficked scaly mammal used in food and medicine in Asia.
Coronavirus has killed 637 people in mainland China, according to