publish date 2022-07-28 08:54:42
Two recently published studies came to a similar conclusion, that the Hunan Seafood Market in Wuhan, China, was most likely the epicenter of the outbreak of the emerging corona virus, according to CNN.
Both studies were published online as preliminary publications in February, but have now been peer-reviewed, prior to being published Tuesday in the journal Science.
Peer review is the process of evaluating a study or activity carried out by competent and competent researchers in order to ascertain the quality and accuracy of studies conducted by other researchers.
In one of the two studies, scientists from around the world used mapping tools and social media reports to conduct a spatial and ecological analysis, saying that although “exact conditions remain ambiguous”, the virus was likely present in live animals sold at the market in late 2019.
Live and freshly slaughtered animals were kept close to each other and thus viruses and germs could easily be transmitted and exchanged among themselves, but the study did not specify if those animals were sick.
The researchers decided that the first cases of Covid-19 disease were concentrated in the market among sellers who sold these live animals or people who shop there, explaining that they believe that there are two separate types of viruses circulating in animals that were transmitted to humans.
“All eight cases of COVID-19 were detected before December 20 in the western side of the market, where some animals and mammal carcasses were also sold,” the study said.
“Locations of infections in the market were very well defined,” said Kristian Andersen, a professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at the Scripps Research Institute and co-author of the study.
Study co-author Michael Worby, who heads the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona, explained that the “unusual” pattern that emerged from the mapping of these cases was very evident.
Worby noted that the researchers mapped the early cases that had nothing to do with the market, and these people lived or worked near the market.
Worubi considered that this “is an indication that the virus began to spread among the people who worked in the market, but then it began to spread in the surrounding community where the sellers went to the local stores, and infected the people who worked in those stores.”
Another approach… and similar results
The other study takes another approach aimed at determining when the first infection with the emerging corona virus was transmitted from animals to humans.
This research shows that the first version of the coronavirus most likely came in different forms scientists call A and B, as the strains were the result of at least two events that were transmitted across species to humans.
The researchers believe the first animal-to-human transmission may have occurred around November 18, 2019, and came from type B, which was only found in people with a direct connection to the Huanan market.
The researchers also suspect that strain A was introduced to humans from an animal within weeks or even days of infection with type B, as A has been found in samples from people who lived or stayed near the market.
In this regard, study co-author Joel Werthem, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of California, said, “These results indicate that it is unlikely that the emerging coronavirus had spread widely in humans before November 2019.”
He continued, “So this helps to define the narrow gap between when this coronavirus was first transmitted to humans and the time when the first cases of Covid-19 disease were reported.”
He pointed out that “as with other coronaviruses, it is possible that the emergence of the emerging corona virus was caused by multiple animal levels,” acknowledging that the possibility of such a virus emerging from two different events is low.
And Werthem added, “Now, I realize that it is as if you just said that an event occurs once in every generation two short successive times, and that epidemics are indeed rare, but once all conditions are created, Corona may be an animal virus capable of transmitting infection to humans and between humans. “.
For his part, Andersen believes that the two studies do not negate the theory of the virus leaking from the Wuhan laboratory, adding: “But these studies are so convincing that I changed my opinion about the origins of the virus,” noting that the animal market was the cause of the spread of the virus and not the Wuhan Virology Laboratory.
And he continued, “I was completely convinced that the theory of leakage from the lab was unrealistic, until we delved into this very carefully and looked at it closely and based on the data and analyzes I had done over the past decade on many other viruses, I convinced myself that the data did in fact point to the issue. From that particular market.
Worby agrees with Andersen, as he also thinks the lab leak theory is possible, explaining: “But the epidemiological predominance of market-related cases is not a mirage but a real thing. It is not reasonable for this virus to be introduced in any way other than the wildlife trade.”
To reduce the chances of future epidemics, researchers hope to be able to determine which animal may have been infected first and how it was infected, and in this regard, Werthem believes that “the raw components of a zoonotic virus with the possibility of a pandemic are still latent in the wild,” expressing his belief The world needs to do a much better job of monitoring animals and other potential threats to human health.
For his part, Andersen emphasized that although “we cannot prevent an outbreak, cooperation between the world’s scientists can be key to making a difference and working to detect any outbreak early so that it does not become a pandemic.”
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