He found that many were in people living or working near the market, the original presumed source of the pandemic, even though they had no direct connection to the market.
Mr. Worobey, which specializes in tracking the genetic evolution of viruses, has found significant evidence that the virus originated in an animal and only began circulating in late 2019.
He has published several studies on the probable origin of the virus.
But he said he wanted to check his own theories against the real evidence from what was known about actual people with documented infections.
So he dived into the known cases.
One case in particular stood out – that of a 41-year-old accountant who allegedly fell ill on December 8, 2019 and who had no connection to the market.
The case has been cited as evidence that the pandemic may not have started in the market.
Mr. Worobey found records showing that the man did not get sick with COVID-19 until later in December and that his problem on December 8 was related to his teeth.
“This is confirmed by hospital records and a scientific paper reporting his COVID-19 debut date as December 16 and hospitalization date as December 22,” wrote Mr. Worobey in a commentary in the journal. Science.
That would make a seafood supplier who worked in the market and who fell ill on December 11, 2019, the earliest documented case, Mr Worobey said.
Other research helped Mr Worobey come up with a map of the earliest cases that brings them together across the market.
“It tells us that there is a big red flashing arrow pointing to Huanan Market as the most likely place where the pandemic started,” said Mr. Worobey to CNN.
“The virus did not come from another part of Wuhan and then came to the Huanan market. The evidence actually speaks quite strongly to the virus starting in the market and then seeping into the neighborhoods around the market.”
But the WHO also said its conclusions were not final and asked the Chinese government to provide more information and access.
This information may never come to light, Mr Worobey said.
The Chinese government cleared the Huanan market for all animals and disinfected it when it became clear that it was linked to an outbreak of infectious diseases in January 2020 – removing the risk of more spread but also destroying crucial evidence.
“I will not call this conclusive evidence, but I will call it fairly strong evidence,” Mr. Worobey.
Journals Science subject Mr Worobey’s research to an external scrutiny before it was published.
And Peter Daszak, president of the EcoHealth Alliance and one of the WHO’s investigators, said he thinks it holds.
“I was really impressed with the detective work he has put in. Everything he says about the case on December 8 matches what we experienced in Wuhan on the WHO trip – there was a cluster of early cases coming in. at the hospitals in late December, and clinicians were working back to the presumed start date, “Daszak told CNN via email.
Striking images document a pandemic like no other
“They just made a mistake with this person because he probably visited the hospital for some other reason. This puts the first known case as a Huanan market worker, not the accountant who lived near one of Wuhan’s laboratory campuses.
“This now adds to about 10 other scientific evidences that I have seen since the end of our WHO work, all of which point to an origin through animal farms and markets.
“No single piece of evidence is absolutely crucial, but when you lay them all out, it really tips the balance towards the ‘natural’ origin.”
Mr. Worobey joined a group of scientists who signed a letter Science in May said the theory of COVID-19 leaked from a laboratory requires a thorough investigation.
“I signed that letter Science “suggests that the laboratory leak should be investigated, which I still believe, and that it should be,” Mr. Worobey told CNN.
“But meanwhile smoking is sacred – there is much evidence against it and in favor of natural origin.”
Disclaimers for mcutimes.com
All the information on this website - https://mcutimes.com - is published in good faith and for general information purpose only. mcutimes.com does not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information you find on this website (mcutimes.com), is strictly at your own risk. mcutimes.com will not be liable for any losses and/or damages in connection with the use of our website.