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Newly discovered viruses 

Newly discovered viruses
Newly discovered viruses

Susannah J.A. Froude

, and Harriet C. Hughes



Updated to include information on the SARS-CoV-2 virus causing the COVID-19 pandemic

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date: 02 March 2021

Although humans are affected by an enormous range of microorganisms, almost all newly discovered emerging pathogens are viruses that are often zoonotic or vector-borne. These emerging viruses often have high baseline mutation rates, allowing them to adapt relatively easily to new hosts and enabling them to take advantage of new epidemiological opportunities provided by the changing environment. A range of apparently new human viral pathogens has been reported increasingly in international outbreak information over the last few years, most recently SARS-CoV-2 as the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic that started in Wuhan (China) in December 2019 and has now spread worldwide with devastating consequences. In addition to respiratory coronaviruses, emerging viruses that might be of particular global public health importance includeZika virus and severe fever and thrombocytopenia syndrome virus. Other emerging viruses of importance include bocavirus, Bufavirus, PARV4, human parechovirus, Itaya, Heartland, and Bourbon virus. The human pathogenicity of other emerging viruses is less certain.

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