(ORDO NEWS) — Experts still do not know where the coronavirus came from.
Genetic studies have virtually confirmed that the virus arose in bats before it was transmitted to humans through an intermediate host animal. But where and how this side effect occurred for the first time is still to be discussed.
Initially, authorities in Wuhan, China, reported that the first cases of infection with the virus appeared on the local wholesale market of Huanan seafood.
But after researching animals sold there, the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said they exclude this site as the site of the outbreak.
According to Wall Street Journal, director of the Chinese CDC Gao Fu told the Chinese state-run media: “Now it turns out that the market is one of the victims.”
Samples collected from animals on the market tested negative for the new coronavirus, suggesting that they could not infect buyers.
Cases related to the seafood market were not the first in China.
Wuhani authorities first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) about an unknown disease like pneumonia, which will later be identified as the new coronavirus on December 31.
Most of the first 41 cases were related to the seafood market, which closed on January 1.
Given that the outbreak of SARS in 2002 and 2003 began at a similar location in Guangdong, China, the seafood market looked logical.
But none of the animals on the market tested positive for the virus, Colin Carlson, a zoologist at Georgetown University, said in an interview with Live Science.
If they were not infected, they could not be the intermediate host of the virus that contributed to the spread.
A growing body of research confirms the conclusion of the Chinese CDC that the origin of the outbreak was not related to the market.
The virus appeared to circulate in Wuhan before the first cases of infection were reported: studies published in January showed that the first person to get a coronavirus test was probably infected on December 1, and then showed symptoms on December 8th.
Researchers behind the study also found that 13 out of 41 cases of infection showed no connection with the wet market.
Similarly, an April study showed that coronavirus had already established itself and began to spread in Wuhan by early January.
The identity of the “null patient” has not been established, but perhaps it was a 55-year-old man from the Chinese province of Hubei who was infected on November 17, according to the South China Morning Post .
The market could become a super-distribution site.
Carlson told Live Science that the market in Wuhan was simply the site of an early super-proliferation event – a case in which one patient infects an atypically large number of others.
These cases do not necessarily include a person who is more contagious than others, or who releases more virus particles. Rather, an infected person has contacted a large number of people in places that contribute to infection.
Coronavirus did not leak from the laboratory.
Questions about the origin of the pandemic have given rise to a number of unfounded theories. It can be assumed that the coronavirus could have accidentally leaked from a local laboratory, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, into which scientists studied coronaviruses.
But both Chinese and American researchers said that there is no evidence to support this theory. The high-security laboratory claims that it does not have records about the genome of the new coronavirus, and that the most stringent safety measures are followed.
Laboratory director Wang Yanyi told China’s Central Television last weekend that the new coronavirus is genetically different from any type of live virus studied at the institute.
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