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Pangolins believed to be a potential link to coronavirus outbreak

Genome of virus in the animal is 99% match to that of infected patients

A pangolin takes a walk during a Bangkok news conference in August 2017 after Thai customs officials confiscated 136 of the scaly anteaters.   © Reuters

The pangolin, a scaly mammalian anteater, is the latest animal to be identified as an intermediate host of the new coronavirus that has sickened more than 31,000 people worldwide.

According to local media reports, an analysis of genome sequences of viruses isolated from pangolins showed a 99% match with those of 2019-nCoV, as the coronavirus behind the epidemic is known.

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