Scientists found the first human cases of COVID-19 near a wet market. Newly released genetic data from that market shows that the virus is made up of raccoon and dog DNA.
The Atlantic was one of the first news outlets to report on the findings. The data from the end of 2019, when the first COVID-19 cases started to show up, shows that some of the COVID-positive samples taken from a stall known to be involved in the wildlife trade also had raccoon dog genes.
Scientists think that this means that the virus may have infected the animals. The data has not been formally reviewed or published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Do you know that COVID-19 is a worldwide disease that has been spreading since 2019? Even after getting better, people still have a lot of health problems because of this. Doctors also had a hard time figuring out what COVID was:
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the World Health Organization, has said that the data does not give “a definitive answer to how the pandemic began, but every piece of data is important to moving us closer to that answer.”
But health experts from around the world say that this finding supports the idea that the COVID-19 virus came from animals and not from a lab leak.
Scientists think that COVID-19 came from the Wuhan Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which sold not only seafood but also wild animals and exotic game.
The Chinese team took samples of the environment at the Wuhan Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, according to Florence Débarre, a theorist who specializes in evolutionary biology and works at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, or CNRS, a French national-research agency.
The data was found by a researcher at the CNRS who works at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, or CNRS. A biologist at Scripps Research who looked at the data and talked to Kristian Andersen said –
“The data do point further to a market origin.”
Angela Rasmussen, a virologist who worked on the study, told the Atlantic that “this is a really strong indication that animals at the market were infected.”
The DNA is from raccoon dogs, which are small animals from East Asia that are related to foxes. This information is not new, but the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention just put the genetic sequence on the world’s GISAID database and then took it down, Ghebreyesus said.
While it was on the Internet, scientists downloaded it and started to look at it. Tedros has criticized China for not giving them the information sooner. He said (shared on Twitter) –
“This data could have and should have been shared three years ago.”
“We continue to call on China to be transparent in sharing data and to conduct the necessary investigations and share the results. Understanding how the pandemic began remains both a moral and scientific imperative.”
This is not the first time that China has refused to share information with other countries. According to WHO data, 6,873,477 people have died from COVID-19 since the first death was reported in Wuhan, China, on January 11, 2020.