There’s still hope that the mysterious origin of the coronavirus will be uncovered


Chris Smith

  • The World Health Organization’s delayed investigation of the novel coronavirus’s origin in China has caused controversy, but scientists still expect the investigation to yield results.
  • The WHO and China agreed on how to proceed with the coronavirus origin search, but the first phase will involve Chinese scientists doing the legwork in Wuhan.
  • Experts think that it’s still possible to identify the animal species that passed the virus to humans and determine when it happened. Genetic testing of samples and antibodies could still tell the original outbreak's full story even a year after the first human cases were officially documented.

About a year ago, the first patients in Wuhan, China, were being diagnosed with pneumonia of unknown origin in what was to become the current coronavirus pandemic. We still don't know exactly how the infection reached humans, but scientists proved that the virus jumped from animals to humans early into the pandemic. China hasn’t exactly been transparent about the source of the virus and hasn’t allowed international experts to visit ground zero and start investigations into the origin of the pandemic. But the country has inked a deal with the World Health Organization (WHO) for a formal inquiry into the Wuhan outbreak.

Finding out what really happened and how the virus jumped to humans is critical for managing the illness, future treatment and vaccine research, and preventive measures that could block the same species from infecting humans with a different pathogen. Having a clear picture of the origin of COVID-19 isn’t about assigning blame to China or a different country. Although China attempted to change the origin story a few times so far, suggesting that the pandemic might not have started in Wuhan.

Time isn’t lost, and experts involved in similar investigations think the WHO can get to the bottom of it, despite the delays.

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There’s still hope that the mysterious origin of the coronavirus will be uncovered originally appeared on on Fri, 20 Nov 2020 at 18:40:22 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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