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China’s “bat woman” researcher warns that the deadly coronavirus surfacing now is “just the tip of the iceberg” in terms of what humans may soon face without a global effort to prevent similar infectious outbreaks.
“If we want to prevent human beings from suffering from the next infectious-disease outbreak, we must go in advance to learn of these unknown viruses carried by wild animals in nature and give early warnings,” Shi Zhengli, a top Chinese scientist specializing in viral transmissions from bats, told CGTN in an interview that aired Monday.
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“If we don’t study [the viruses], there will possibly be another outbreak,” warned Shi, whose was dubbed “bat woman” by the press because of her research involving the mammals.
Chinese virologist Shi Zhengli is seen inside the P4 laboratory in Wuhan, capital of China’s Hubei province, on February 23, 2017. – The P4 epidemiological laboratory was built in co-operation with French bio-industrial firm Institut Merieux and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)
The coronavirus has killed more than 345,000 people across the world since it appears to have first surfaced in Wuhan, China, late last year.
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The Wuhan lab where Shi is deputy director has been suspected of accidentally unleashing the virus on humans. China also has been accused of not coming clean on the danger soon enough and consistently lying about the virus’s toll on its citizens.