Group of experts analyzes whether meat sold in the market of Wuhan, China, was a vector of transmission to humans; WHO also studies other hypotheses of the origin of the virus
Raccoon dog meat is sold at the central market in Wuhan, in the City, the city where the pandemic began
The expert group of World Health Organization (WHO) which investigates the origin of coronaviruscausing the Covid-19raised this Saturday, 18, the possibility that the raccoon doganimal sold at the market in Wuhan where the pandemic, was instrumental in the transmission of the pathogen to humans. Recently revealed data from laboratory samples taken at the market indicate a strong presence of DNA from this animal, and photos from the Huanan market in Wuhan, central China China, prove that their meat or meat products were sold in stalls, said a WHO statement. “Although this is not conclusive evidence about the intermediate or original hosts of the virus, the data show the presence of animals that could have been the source of infections in humans”, said the experts of the Scientific Advisory Group on the Origin of New Pathogens (Sago, in the acronym in English). The data were drawn from analyzes by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of China, published on an open access scientific platform, but whose texts were removed when European experts discovered, studied and reported their findings to the WHO.
According to Sago, these data indicate that none of the 457 direct analyzes of samples from 18 animal species on the market were positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes Covid-19, but traces of mitochondrial DNA from the aforementioned raccoon dog, a canid related to foxes, were identified in environmental samples. Other animals whose DNA was discovered in environmental samples from the market and which, according to the WHO, may be susceptible to transmission of the coronavirus are the Malaysian hedgehog and the bamboo rat. “Sago strongly recommends researchers in China to investigate the sources of the animals and animal-related products present in the Huanan market before it closes on January 1, 2020,” concluded the WHO expert group. Experts from Sago, the CDC and others who had access to them when they were published online have held several meetings over the past seven days to discuss the results of these investigations, in which China has once again shown opacity by not sharing them directly with the WHO. .
The international organization emphasized, when this new advance in investigations into the mysterious origin of Covid-19 was revealed, that there are still different hypotheses about the origin of the coronavirus, which has caused almost 7 million deaths, 5,000 of them in the last week alone. Among these hypotheses would be, in addition to transmission from one or more animals to humans, one that represents a contagion through the food chain, or one that considers that it could accidentally leave a laboratory where it was kept for study.
*With information from EFE