More Than Half of Wild Animals Served in Vietnam's Restaurants Have a Coronavirus

While Vietnam is in the process of banning "imperiled" animals to eat, it has yet to officially do so. There are still active "wildlife restaurants" that serve rats, bats, civet cats, snakes, bears, monkeys, and pangolins.

Researchers found that 56% of wild rats were infected with a coronavirus by the time they were served in restaurants - double from when the animals were initially caught. 

Coronavirus in rodent population sampled in their natural habitats before being caught for sale were around 0 and 2%, but jumped to 21% by the time they were caught. When they hit wet markets, they had a 32% contamination rate before being sold to restaurants and then rising even further. 

The researchers determined stress, confinement, shedding, and poor nutrition are contributing factors to the increase in coronavirus rates in animals that are taken from their habitats and brought into restaurants.

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