According to findings of a research team at CAS Institute of Virology, Wuhan, a distinct population of horseshoe bats in a remote cave in Yunnan may be at the origin of the 2002 SARS epidemic. Virologists around TU Changchun have found that these bats carry coronaviruses with all the genetic elements that were found in the SARS virus strain which in 2002 killed nearly 800 people worldwide. The deadly strain may have been passed on to civet cats sold in markets of Guangdong Province before reaching humans.

China Bio news release, December 7, 2017