Coronavirus poses fatal threat to great apes, experts warn

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Coronavirus poses fatal threat to great apes, experts warn

Mar 28, 2020 11:22 IST

A letter from 25 leading experts, published in the journal Nature, warns that the coronavirus pandemic could wipe out populations of chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans. Our closest living relatives, which share about 98% of human DNA, are known to be susceptible to catching respiratory diseases from people. Even pathogens producing mild symptoms in humans have been lethal to these endangered species in the past. There's evidence that in 2016 scientists reported the transmission of a human coronavirus to wild chimpanzees in the Taï National Park in Ivory Coast, and so we should prepare for the worst, say experts.

Environment