This Scaly Creature Implicated in Virus Spread

But don't be too quick to blame pangolins just yet
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2020 11:16 AM CDT

(Newser) – A scaly anteater known as the pangolin is suddenly getting a lot of attention as scientists around the world try to figure out how the coronavirus jumped to humans. The takeaway from coverage seems to boil down to this: The animals do carry coronaviruses similar to the one responsible for our current pandemic—as a study in Nature Thursday shows—but the evidence isn't strong enough to lay the blame yet. At the very least, though, scientists are urging that the sale and consumption of pangolins at wildlife markets be stopped, reports National Geographic. Not helping: The BBC notes that pangolins are the "most-commonly illegally trafficked mammal," not only as food but for traditional medicine. In particular, their scales are in much demand. A look at theories and studies:

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