Researchers from South China Agriculture University announced last week that pangolins could potentially be linked to the deadly coronavirus. They identified a virus in pangolins that was 99% identical to the coronavirus in infected people, and suggested pangolins to be an intermediate host between bats and humans. While pangolins are known to host strains of coronavirus, the research behind the press release has not yet been published in the scientific literature, making it difficult to evaluate these claims. Nonetheless, ending the illegal trade in pangolins could contribute to mitigating potential health risks associated with consuming wildlife.
Dr Dan Challender
Chair, IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group