=== (AGENDAWATCHDOG) === Scientists have discovered a new type of coronavirus which originated in dogs and can infect humans.
The pathogen, which has been around since 2018, is the eighth coronavirus known to have jumped from animals to humans.
It is not yet clear if the bug poses a serious threat like its cousin SARS-CoV-2, which is the name of the virus behind Covid.
But researchers who detected it claim they ‘don’t see any reason to expect another pandemic from this virus’.
The virus hospitalised eight people in Malaysia, including seven children — the youngest of whom was just five-and-a-half months old.
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses in the same way that there are several types of influenza.
They are named for the distinctive appearance of their spikes; when seen under a powerful microscope, the spikes look like a crown (corona is the Latin for ‘crown’).
Beneath these spikes is a layer of membrane. This membrane can be disrupted by detergents and alcohols, which is why soap and water and alcohol hand sanitiser gels are effective against the virus.
Coronaviruses are expected to become more frequent as humans come into more contact with wildlife due to habitat destruction and climate change.
Covid is the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 but there are six other coronaviruses that have been found in humans.
Its origin has been linked to bats and pangolins but theories that it was leaked from a laboratory have not yet been ruled out.