New York – Two scientific studies conclude that the coronavirus was present in live mammals that were sold in the wholesale seafood market in the city of Wuhan, in China, at the end of 2019 and that it spread to its workers, New York publishes this Saturday. Times.
For these two studies, which together have 150 pages and have not yet been published in scientific journals, data from a variety of sources were analyzed to look for clues about how the pandemic arose, and rule out that it came from a laboratory, adds the newspaper. .
“The geographic clustering of the earliest known cases of COVID-19 and the proximity of positive environmental samples to live animal vendors suggest that the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan was the place of origin of the pandemic.”the scientists point out in the study.
The researchers said they found no support for an alternative hypothesis that the coronavirus escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan.
“When you look at all the evidence together, it is an extraordinarily clear picture that the pandemic started in the Huanan market”says the evolutionary biologist at the University of Arizona and co-author of both studies.
The Times further notes that the authors of the new study include researchers who previously published smaller reports pointing to a similar conclusion, but based on much less detail.
“Understanding the circumstances that lead to pandemics is critical to their prevention. Here, we analyze the pattern and origin of the genomic diversity of SARS-CoV-2 at the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic “, they further explain in an introduction to the study.
Also that the first zoonotic transmission occurred in late November or early December 2019 and not earlier than early November 2019.
The newspaper recalls that many of the first cases of COVID-19 were clustered around the Huanan market and that by the end of December 2019, Wuhan hospitals had found dozens of cases of viral pneumonia.
In January of last year, experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) investigating the origin of the virus in China visited precisely that market, where the first infections were detected. The first was a man who had been to the market, which was closed on January 1, 2020.
That same day, hundreds of thousands of people left the city of Wuhan to return to their places of origin for the Lunar New Year, thus spreading the virus, the Times also noted.