China’s Wuhan Market Likely Origin of COVID-19 Outbreak – Investigation – Community News

China’s Wuhan Market Likely Origin of COVID-19 Outbreak – Investigation

SINGAPORE, Nov. 19 (Reuters) – The first known COVID-19 case involved a market vendor in the Chinese city of Wuhan, not an accountant who appeared to have no affiliation with the market, but whose case contributed to speculation that the virus could have leaked a lab, according to a US study.

The origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 remains a mystery and a major source of tension between China and the United States.

A joint study by China and the World Health Organization (WHO) this year ruled out the theory that COVID-19 originated in a lab, saying the most likely hypothesis was that it infected humans naturally, likely through the wildlife trade. .

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A WHO-led team of experts spent four weeks in and around the central city of Wuhan with Chinese scientists and said in a joint report in March that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was likely transmitted from bats to humans via another animal. , but that further research was needed.

The accountant, widely believed to be the first person with COVID-19, reported that his first symptoms appeared on December 16, several days later than initially known, Michael Worobey, chief of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona, said in the study published Thursday in the journal Science.

The confusion was caused by a dental problem he had on December 8.

“The onset of his symptoms came after multiple cases among workers at Huanan Market, making a female seafood vendor there the earliest known case, with the illness onset on Dec. 11,” the study said.

It said most of the early symptomatic cases were market-related, particularly the western part where raccoon dogs were caged, and it provided strong evidence of the origins of the pandemic in the live animal market.

The WHO proposed a new expert panel last month to investigate the source of the coronavirus.

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Reporting by Miyoung Kim Editing by Robert Birsel

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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