It was raised that the initial spread of the new coronavirus infection (Corona 19) could have been linked to raccoon dogs traded in the Chinese market.
According to CNN broadcast on the 17th (local time), international researchers from ‘Scripps Research’ of the US Science Foundation, the University of Sydney, Australia, and the University of Arizona, USA, found animal cages, carts and floors in the Fish Market Huanan in Wuhan, China A re-analysis of genetic data collected between January and March 2020 was carried out in different places such as
The Chinese Huahua Fish Market is only a fish market, but it sold fish, as well as various wild animals such as bats, pangolins, snakes, ducks, centipedes, raccoons and rabbits for food.
When Corona 19 was first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) in December 2019 as pneumonia of unknown origin, this market was identified as the outbreak site.
The genetic sample analyzed by international researchers was originally collected three years ago and analyzed by the Chinese scientific community, but it was only in January this year that China disclosed the relevant data to the International Influenza Information Sharing Organization (GISAID). Recently, even this was removed.
But before the data was completely deleted, a French biologist came across it and shared it with an international group of scientists, forcing the data to be re-analysed.
The re-analysis showed the opposite result to China’s claim that the Corona 19 virus found in the Huanan market was of human origin, not animal origin.
Analysis of genetic data revealed that the genetic samples that tested positive for Corona 19 contained a large amount of genes from raccoons sold in this market.
This suggests that these raccoons may have harbored the Corona 19 virus, the research team explained.
The possibility was raised that raccoons, not bats or pangolins, which were considered likely host animals, played the role of an intermediate host for Corona 19.
The results of this study have not yet been officially published in academic journals, but the research team presented this fact to the ‘Scientific Advisory Group for the Investigation of the Origin of Emerging Pathogens’ (SAGO) of the World Health Organization (WHO). this week. .
WHO criticized that China should have announced the link between Corona 19 and wild animals such as raccoons earlier.
“This data could and should have been shared three years ago,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. I encourage you to keep doing it,” he said.
He added that now is the time to immediately share the missing evidence with the international community.
Suspicion has long been raised in the international community that China is hiding accurate information about the origin of COVID-19.
The World Health Organization said earlier it had sought the cooperation of high-ranking officials in the Chinese government, saying, “We must keep pushing until we find solutions.”
Sarah Covey, an epidemiologist at the University of Chicago, said: “If it’s just a human infection, it’s very unlikely that the genetic sample will contain that much animal DNA, especially raccoon DNA.” He did not participate in this re-analysis.
Other international scientists also evaluated that the analysis shows a stronger link between Corona 19 and wildlife.
“There are clearly infected raccoons in the market,” said Jeremy Camille, a virologist at Louisiana State University’s Shreveport Center for Health Sciences. “It also raises bigger questions about what the Chinese government really knows.”
However, CNN reported that the results of this re-analysis do not completely reveal the origin of Corona 19.
It is explained that it is impossible to say with the information so far if it is certain that the raccoon is infected with Corona 19, or if it is true that the raccoon was the first to spread Corona 19 to humans.
Even if it is true that the raccoon was infected with Corona 19, it is possible that an animal other than a raccoon was transferred to a person, or that a person infected with the virus spread it to r raccoon first, CNN said.