SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News)– Research happening at the University of Utah links the coronavirus to viruses common in bats and pangolins. 

“There are viruses in bats that infect bats all the time,” PhD. researcher Stephen Goldstein said. 

Dr. Goldstein says those viruses in bats and pangolins have an impact on humans.

“But when they emerge in people it can make us very sick and the viruses we know of closest to the COVID-19 viruses is one of the viruses that circulate in bats,” Dr. Goldstein said. “The way we are looking at it is from examining the genetic sequences.”

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Dr. Goldstein says out of the 203 countries and territories currently reporting varying strains of the virus on Tuesday, all the strains are believed to be similar. 

“The viruses in Italy are not more lethal or transmitting differently than the viruses that are in the United States, Brazil, South Korea, or Japan,” Dr. Goldstein said.

 He says this research is one of a kind at the U of U and could stimulate future life-saving research. 

“Developing therapeutics and vaccine platforms both in the academic labs and the biotech companies we have in Utah,” he said. 

Click here for more research being done at the U on the virus.

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