An animal market in Huanan, China, is very likely the source of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This is the conclusion of a group of international researchers, including virologist Prof. Marion Koopmans of the Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness Center.
New research shows that the corona pandemic most likely started at the Huanan market in Wuhan. In a preprint article on Zenodo, international scientists explain how they came to that conclusion. They combined data from the March 2021 WHO report with new information.
Very first cases
The researchers traced the very first cases of Covid-19 in December 2019. Some of them were linked to the market, others not. But the individuals had one thing in common: they all lived close to the market.
The next question was: where in the market did the virus originate? Researchers combined the WHO report data with data on the market’s animals to answer the question. They studied photos to determine which live animals were present in 2019. Previously collected positive corona samples from market stalls were concentrated in the same places where wild animals were sold. The origin of the animals is unknown.
Koopmans: ‘All in all, we conclude: the virus arrived at the market via live wild animals and jumped over to people.’ She calls the research ‘a breakthrough’ in the search for the origin of the pandemic.