The common belief among experts worldwide is that Sars-CoV2 originated in bats and then jumped to humans through an intermediary species which in this case is believed to be the pangolin.
From the start of the epidemic, authorities in Wuhan, China maintained that the first infections occurred in a local wet market where live animals are sold in unhygienic settings. After initial pushback, the Chinese CDC has now ruled out this wet market as a potential source of the epidemic. Instead, it may have just had a highly contagious individual pass by which in turn caused the first noticeable cluster of COVID-19 infections.
Based on previous studies the animals sold in the market were not infected with the virus, and tests showed that they could not have been the source of the virus.
Experts still do not know who patient zero is and where the Sars-cov2 comes from.
Genetic tests have only confirmed that the virus originated in bats before jumping to humans through an intermediate host animal the pangolin. But where and how this transfer occurred is still in dispute.
In the beginning, the Chinese authorities in Wuhan reported that the initial cases of the virus appeared in the wet seafood market. But after examining the animals sold there, the Chinese authorities reversed their initial hypothesis and finally ruled out the wet market as the cradle of the epidemic.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told China’s state media, “Now it seems that the market is one of the victims.”
All the animals tested were negative for the novel coronavirus, suggesting they could not have infected the buyers.
The Huanan wholesale seafood market cases were not the first in China
Authorities in Wuhan first reported an unknown pneumonia-like lung disease to the World Health Organization which was later identified as COVID-19 on Dec. 31.
Most of the original 41 cases that were diagnosed were related to the wet market, which was closed on January 1 for decontamination. Since the SARS outbreak began in 2002 and 2003 at a similar location in Guangdong, China, the wet market seemed to be the logical source.
But none of the animals on the market tested positive for the virus, Colin Carlson, a zoologist at Georgetown University, told Live Science. If the animals had never been infected, they could not have acted as intermediate hosts to facilitate the spread of the virus.
It appears that the virus was already spreading in the Chinese city before these 41 cases were reported. According to A study published in January, the first person to test positive COVID-19 was likely exposed to the virus on December 1 and then showed symptoms one week later on December 8. The research scientists also found that in 13 of the original 41 cases no link to the wet market could be proven.
Similarly, an April study indicated that the Sars-cov2 had already become established in the Wuhan community by early January and was beginning to spread rapidly.
As of today patient zero has not yet been confirmed, however, according to the South China Morning Post, he could be a 55-year-old man from Hubei province who was infected on November 17.
The Wuhan Wet market is the first noticeable cluster of COVID 19
The wet market in Wuhan could simply be a case where one patient infected an unusually large number of people frequenting the market which has made it the first noticeable COVID-19 cluster.
In short, more research and investigating needs to be done to finally put the question of where this novel coronavirus started to rest.
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