A new look at the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic points directly to the food market in Wuhan, says scientist | MCU Times

A new look at the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic points directly to the food market in Wuhan, says scientist

A fresh look at the possible origins COVID-19 the pandemic points directly back to the Huanan seafood market in the Chinese city of Wuhan, a scientist who has been studying the pandemic since the beginning claimed this week.
The researcher, Michael Worobey from University of Arizona, has put together a careful timeline of all known cases of SARS-Cov-2 before it was known that a pandemic was beginning.

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.

Researcher Michael Worobey of the University of Arizona has compiled a careful timeline of all known cases of SARS-Cov-2 before it became known that a pandemic was underway.
Researcher Michael Worobey has put together a careful timeline of all the known cases of SARS-Cov-2 before a pandemic was declared. (Getty)

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.

He says what he found strengthens the theory virus occurred in animals sold on the market – much like the first SARS outbreak in 2002-2004, which infected 8000 people before being stopped.
Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market
A fresh look at the possible origins of the COVID-19 pandemic points directly back to the Huanan seafood market in the Chinese city of Wuhan, a scientist claimed this week. (Getty)

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.

“So many of the more than 100 COVID-19 “Cases from December without an identified epidemiological link to Huanan Market, which nevertheless lived in its immediate vicinity, are remarkable and provide convincing evidence that Community transmission started in the market,” he wrote.

“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.”

That World Health Organization made his own study of the origin of the pandemic and said that animals were the most likely origin of the pandemic.
Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market
Other research helped Mr Worobey come up with a map of the earliest cases that brings them together across the market. (AP)

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.

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“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.”

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