Indeed, according to a recent report published in the journal Science, the first known case of a corona was the sale of a fish market in Huanan. According to the researcher, this supports the theory that the pandemic originated in an animal market instead of a laboratory.
A team of researchers led by the World Health Organization (WHO) investigated the origins of the corona pandemic in and around Wuhan, China, early in the year. The group also interviewed an 41-year-old accountant who is said to have had his first symptom on December 8, 2019. In a March report, the WHO considered the man to be the first known case of corona.
According to a recent study, information about the accountant’s symptoms has been collected incorrectly, and the first corona symptoms are known to have been diagnosed on 11 December 2019 in a woman who was a salesman at the Huanan fish market.
The dental operation caused confusion
Director of the Department of Environmental Sciences and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona Michael Worobey noticed inconsistencies in the timeline for the spread of the pandemic when reviewing published information on the origin of the coronavirus, as well as video interviews with early-onset coronary heart disease.
Worobey found that the accountant said in an interview with the Chinese media that he did not get his first corona symptoms until December 16th. In the interview, the man suspected of being infected during his “hospital visit.”
According to Worobey, the hospital’s patient records as well as a previous study confirm the dates.
Professor from the WHO research team Peter Daszak says The New York Times says he is convinced Worobey is right.
According to Daszak, the research team did not ask the accountant when this symptoms started. Instead, the group received information from Hubei Xinhua Hospital, which treated coronary patients, although the man was not treated there.
The EcoHealth Alliance, led by Daszak, has worked closely with the Wuhan Institute of Virology for many years to study coronaviruses. Daszak has been criticized for his conflict of interest because of his dual role.
The source of the virus in the fish market?
The theory of the spread of the virus from the zoo has been criticized for possible statistical bias: As the authorities ordered hospitals to report suspicious cases linked to the fish market, they have also been able to draw attention to the spread of the virus elsewhere.
Authorities issued the order on December 30, so Worobey went through the cases previously recorded. The study also shows that a significant proportion of the earliest known corona infections are linked to or near the Huanan fish market.
The survey is not enough to give an exhaustive answer about the starting point of a pandemic. Worobey himself has previously estimated, based on changes in the virus’s genetic heritage, that it first infected humans as early as mid-November 2019. Many experts also estimate that the Huanan fish market has acted as a viral centrifuge rather than the origin of a pandemic.
Worobey, however, argues that the study supports the theory that the corona pandemic originated at the zoo.
“In this city of 11 million people, half of the early cases are linked to a place the size of a football field,” says Worobey, according to The New York Times.