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SARS-CoV-2 actually did not arise from the Wuhan wet market


Early reports blamed a market where live animals were sold, but evidence now suggests they were wrong, Live Science reported.

According to experts at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), the first case of SARS-CoV-2 did not arise from a wet market in Wuhan.

Instead, the live animal market could be the site of a superinfection event, where one person spread the virus to others, a US expert told Live Science.

Since the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, reports have suggested that SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) has been transmitted from animals to humans at Wuhan's Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market. 

Now, experts at WIV say publicly that this theory is false, and that the virus must have originated elsewhere, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Colin Carlson, a professor at Georgetown University who studies the spread of such a virus, said:
"I have not seen anything that makes me feel that the market is the place where the disease was born." 
The theory is reasonable, he said. For viruses to jump from animals to humans, the host needs to be in contact with humans somewhere. And viruses often jump from animal to animal before invading the human population.

In fact, the SARS-CoV-2 genome is most closely related to the coronavirus isolated from horseshoe bats in China. From there, the scientists suspected the virus might have jumped to another animal and then jumped to humans.

The wet market, where many different animals live and a lot of people come into contact with them, creates an opportunity for that type of disease transmission. And the outbreak of another coronavirus, dubbed SARS, began at a similar market in 2002, after the virus spread from bat to civet.

Some early cases of the Covid-19 epidemic in Wuhan were tied to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market.

The researchers then took environmental samples that showed the virus had dropped onto surfaces on the market. But in the period since then, animal tissues from the market showed no trace of the virus.

For viruses to jump from animals to humans, animals must actually carry it.
"None of the animals in the market were tested positive. So, since January, this has really not been conclusive in particular. But this has evolved into a story."
GS Carlson said.

GS. Carlson said his colleagues in China were careful and accurate at work, publishing data in accordance with international regulations that any scientist in the world can check, and that supports households strongly conclude that the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market is not the source of the virus.

One reason this idea has gained such support is because it is consistent with wildlife conservation efforts.
"Many wet markets sell exotic, endangered and highly trafficked animals like pangolin. And it will be a victory for animal conservation if such markets are closed after being blamed." for the disease. But that doesn't mean the evidence is there."
 "This is a virus of animal origin but it has made a leap, maybe from bats to humans, maybe through another animal, maybe through breeding. And we don't have data to know yet where or how."
"That takes time. Real research shows that bats carrying SARS from 2017 were published about 15 years after the first outbreak."
"It takes a lot of time to go through caves, to go through patterns and build a base of evidence to be able to confidently say this is the type of bat, in this cave, at this time." GS. Carlson said.

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