Scientists in China blamed the deadly coronavirus on bats — a favorite at local restaurants in Wuhan province.
China has confirmed 500 cases of the deadly virus and placed Wuhan under quarantine.
In 2015 scientists identified bats as natural reservoirs of coronoviruses.
CNN is reporting that snakes may also be to blame for the outbreak.
Snakes — the Chinese krait and the Chinese cobra — may be the original source of the newly discovered coronavirus that has triggered an outbreak of a deadly infectious respiratory illness in China this winter.
The many-banded krait (Bungarus multicinctus), also known as the Taiwanese krait or the Chinese krait, is a highly venomous species of elapid snake found in much of central and southern China and Southeast Asia.
The illness was first reported in late December 2019 in Wuhan, a major city in central China, and has been rapidly spreading. Since then, sick travelers from Wuhan have infected people in China and other countries, including the United States.