The spread of the deadly coronavirus could be down to soup made from bats as photos emerge of people in a Chinese city eating the delicacy.
Experts suggested bats could host the virus, which has killed 17 people, in a paper published in the China Science Bulletin – admitting the pneumonia-like virus was "underestimated" by the research community.
It is not yet clear how the virus has spread between humans and bats but scientists believe “there may be an unknown intermediate”.
But Daily Star Online can reveal the "unknown" link may be down bat soup which is an unusual but widely consumed Chinese delicacy.
Footage of people eating the potentially lethal soup emerged on social media this week.
In one clip, a girl can be seen putting a black bat into her mouth with a pair of chopsticks as she sits down for dinner with friends.
On a separate occasion a Wuhan resident took a picture of a dead bat grinning at the camera before eating it.