The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which is the cause of COVID-19 disease, spreads rapidly between people because it combines the genomes of different properties of other coronaviruses. Scientists made this conclusion from Cornell University in the United States. The results of their research are published in the journal of Molecular Biology.
Microbiologists compared the structure of the new coronavirus with other coronaviruses and found that 96% of its genomic sequence matched the genome of SARS-CoV-1, a SARS virus that spread in 2003. However, it has features of the benign human coronavirus HCoV-HKU1.
It is noted that the SARS virus is not very contagious, but has a high mortality rate (about 10%). HCoV-HKU1, in turn, is highly infectious, but almost harmless. This combination makes the new coronavirus highly contagious and dangerous to health, scientists conclude.
The authors of the study concluded that the COVID-19-causing virus is dangerous for primates, cats, ferrets, and minks since their cells have receptors similar to human ones.
In March, scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and infectious diseases of the United States reported that the coronavirus could remain infective in the open air for several hours.
On some surfaces, such as cardboard, the virus remains contagious for 24 hours. On plastic and stainless steel, the virus will be contagious within a few days. On copper, the coronavirus lasts about four hours, and in the air-three hours.