Where does the virus come from?
German Virologist Drosten brings new approach to corona origins into play, Friday, May 8th, 2020
The exact origin of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is still unclear. Sometimes a fish market in the Chinese metropolis of Wuhan is considered the place of origin. A bat laboratory was also suspected at times. The Berlin virologist Christian Drosten now comes to a completely different assessment.
Although the virus is a bat virus, Drosten said in an interview with the Austrian radio. You know which bat genus the coronavirus came from and you know the geographical origin of the virus. However, the virologist does not consider bats to be the source, but rather an intermediate host.
Virologist Drosten suspects raccoon dogs as the source of SARS-CoV-2
"I think there is an animal source," continues Drosten. "Back then, the old, first SARS coronavirus found crawl cats virus positive, but also raccoon dogs." Those raccoon dogs are an industry in China. "You could speculate whether there might be a source there," said the virologist.
Those who work in those markets are often on the go where the animals are bred and sold. "Maybe someone got infected there," suspects the virologist. However, one does not yet know that, only China can clarify that. Researchers in China believe bat laboratory is a possible place of origin.
In mid-February, two Chinese scientists published a study in the online Researchgate database. In the paper, they wrote that they thought it was possible that a laboratory in the center of the Chinese metropolis of Wuhan was causing the outbreak of the coronavirus - only 300 meters away from the fish market, at which the first coronavirus cases were reported at the time, was researched in a laboratory on viruses in bats.
Researchers in China also used bat caves as a hunting ground. Virus hunters searched for traces of previously unknown pathogens under difficult conditions. They would be analyzed in Wuhan. This explains the connection between the bats and Wuhan. However, the animals, at least at the time of the inspection, did not exist on the fish market.
Explosive: The study by the Chinese researchers suddenly disappeared from the database shortly after publication.
The Wuhan Fish market is considered the place of origin.
According to experts, the coronavirus was first transmitted from a wild animal to humans before the virus adapted to its new host and there were transmissions between humans. So far, the fish market has been the site of the first transmission of the coronavirus from animals to humans and therefore also the source of the virus.