What could possibly be the cause of the main COVID outbreak that started more than 2 and a half years ago in China? Many researchers have asked that question before, and there are plenty of theories. If you are betting on animals that were sold on the Wuhan market, you may be right.
CNN reveals what two new studies claim, and they sure surprise those who were placing their bets on conspiracy theories. The coronavirus had its most likely origin in the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the first outbreak occurred, according to the new research.
Researchers analyzed the environment using mapping tools as well as social media reports. For the other study, they relied on a molecular approach.
An official statement says as CNN quotes:
These findings indicate that it is unlikely that SARS-CoV-2 circulated widely in humans prior to November 2019 and define the narrow window between when SARS-CoV-2 first jumped into humans and when the first cases of COVID-19 were reported,
As with other coronaviruses, SARS-CoV-2 emergence likely resulted from multiple zoonotic events.
The earliest cases with no connection to the market were also mapped, but those individuals were still living close to the market.
Michael Worobey, a co-author, said, as the same source mentioned above quotes:
This is an indication that the virus started spreading in people who worked at the market but then started that spread … into the surrounding local community as vendors went into local shops, infected people who worked in those shops.
As for now, at over 2.5 years after the debut of the first COVID outbreak, the virus killed over 6.4 million people worldwide, according to data provided by worldometers.info. Luckily enough, the majority of those infected were saved by doctors.
The new studies were published in the journal Science.