Coronaviruses increase in captive animals

New research found that coronavirus prevalence increases in rats kept in captivity in the wildlife market. Credit: David Brewer

Wildlife markets instigate the spread of coronaviruses among captive animals destined for human consumption, according to new research conducted on field rats. Researchers tested field rats (Rattus argentiventer) in southern Vietnam, where they are popular food items. They found that while 20% of rats had at least one of six coronaviruses the researchers tested for when caught in the wild, this number increased to 30% of rats by the time they hit large markets. Some 55% of rats sold in restaurants had at least one coronavirus.

Read more at The New York Times.