By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | November 1, 2013 9:26 AM EST
Excerpt (editing is mine)
Scientists from Australia, the U.S. and China Thursday confirmed that the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus, which killed more than 750 people worldwide in 2002 and 2003, originated from horseshoe bats in China.
Scientists Thursday said it was the first time the live virus was successfully isolated from bats to ultimately confirm that they are the virus' forerunner.
"The results will help governments design more effective prevention strategies for SARS and similar epidemics," the statement said.
"Our results - in addition to the recent demonstration of MERS-CoV in a Saudi Arabian bat, and of bat CoVs closely related to MERS-CoV in China, Africa, Europe and North America - suggest that bat coronaviruses remain a substantial global threat to public health."
"Now that animals, including bats, and humans live closer together as our population expands globally, the opportunity for direct transmission of these dangerous viruses becomes more and more of an issue," Crameri stressed.