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First Known Covid Case Was Vendor at Wuhan Market, Scientist Claims

No.963816 ViewReplyOriginalReport
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/18/health/covid-wuhan-market-lab-leak.html
https://www.wsj.com/articles/new-reconstruction-points-to-animal-origins-for-covid-19-11637262041
https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/11/18/coronavirus-origins-wuhan-market-animals-science-journal/

The location of early coronavirus infections in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, suggests the virus probably spread to humans from a market where wild and domestically farmed animals were sold and butchered, according to a peer-reviewed article published Thursday in the journal Science that is the latest salvo in the debate over how the pandemic began.

The article, by University of Arizona evolutionary virologist Michael Worobey — a specialist in the origins of viral epidemics — does not purport to answer all questions about the pandemic’s origins, nor is it likely to quell speculation that the virus might have emerged somehow from risky laboratory research.

Worobey has been open to the theory of a lab leak. He was one of the 18 scientists who wrote a much-publicized letter to Science in May calling for an investigation of all possible sources of the virus, including a laboratory accident. But he now contends that the geographic pattern of early cases strongly supports the hypothesis that the virus came from an infected animal at the Huanan Seafood Market — an argument that will probably revive the broader debate about the virus’s origins.

Worobey notes that more than half of the earliest documented illnesses from the virus were among people with a direct connection to the market, and he argues this was not merely the result of the early focus on the market as a potential source of the outbreak. He concludes that the first patient known to fall ill with the virus was a female seafood vendor at the market who became symptomatic on Dec. 11, 2019.