WHO team investigates the origin of COVID-19 in China a year later-Technology News, Firstpost

After two weeks of quarantine, you can start working on it. Maybe. A team of World Health Organization researchers first emerged from the hotel after arriving in Wuhan, central China, and began looking for clues to the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic. The visit is secretly obscured. WHO tweeted some details about what they do on Thursday, but it’s unclear how much access China will give researchers to the sites they want to visit and the people they want to talk to.

Ken Maeda, the center of the World Health Organization team during a field visit in Wuhan, Hubei Province, central China. Image Credit: AP Photo / Ng Han Guan

Why is it a Chinese team?

Scientists hope that information about the earliest known cases of the new coronavirus first identified in Wuhan will help us better understand where it came from and prevent similar pandemics in the future. I’m out.

Researchers around the world are eager to access samples taken from the early Huoshenshan Clinic market and Wuhan Hospital records.

WHO said in a tweet that the team would meet with Chinese scientists before starting a field visit to Wuhan and its surroundings on Friday. According to WHO, we will visit hospitals, laboratories and markets such as Wuhan Institute of Virus Research, Wuhan Market, and Wuhan Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The team said they would talk to early responders and some of the first patients.

Built after the 2003 SARS outbreak, the Wuhan Institute of Vessel Research has an extensive archive of bat coronavirus gene sequences. U.S. officials from the former Trump administration have proposed without providing evidence that the virus may have escaped from the lab.

Experts say the new coronavirus is unlikely to emerge from Wuhan’s lab, and analysis of the new coronavirus genome overwhelmingly excludes the possibility that it was designed by humans.

As the new variants identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa show, the virus is constantly evolving, so the market and other places where early cases appeared are still important.

What do researchers want to learn?

Wuhan is where the COVID-19 case was first detected, but it is likely that the virus has invaded an industrial city of 11 million people from elsewhere.

The gene sequence indicates that the new coronavirus may have started in bats and jumped to another animal before infecting humans. The closest known relative to the virus that causes COVID-19 was found in a mine in a tunnel about 1,000 miles (1,600 km) southwest of Wuhan near the border with China’s Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. The Associated Press has been blocked from visiting the mine.

People began to get sick in Wuhan in December 2019, and many were associated with the seafood market. Scientists initially suspected that the virus came from wildlife on the market and urged China to crack down on wildlife trade.

However, the subsequent discovery of early cases challenged the theory. According to the CDC in China, samples taken from the market are likely to be where the virus spread, not where it originated. The ability of the WHO team to better understand the virus, and its reliability, may depend in part on access to these samples.

Studying the genes of the earliest known cases in Wuhan provides clues as to how it reached people from bats and whether it was through mammals such as bamboo rats and civets. can.

What obstacles does the team face?

The big question is what China allows researchers to see and do. The ruling Communist Party is concerned that the study may shed light on the handling of the virus, expose it to international criticism, and even demand monetary compensation if negligence is found. ing.

China has suppressed independent reports of outbreaks in the country and has released little information on research on the origin of the virus.Ann AP According to research, the government has tight control over all research related to COVID-19 and prohibits researchers from speaking to the media.

In another AP study, WHO officials provided important information about the outbreak of China containing the gene sequence of the new virus, despite public praise by the United Nations Health Organization for calling China a swift response. I personally complained that I was reluctant to share.

China has been plagued by complaints that it has allowed the spread of the disease, suggesting that the virus may have come from abroad. A government spokesperson said hunting of origin would require cross-border work in China, including bat habitats in Southeast Asian countries. Experts on the WHO team have suggested the same, which may be being investigated by researchers.

When do you know the answer?

Investigating the origin of COVID-19 can take years. It took more than a decade to find the origin of SARS, and the origin of Ebola, first identified in the 1970s, remains elusive. However, knowing where the virus came from can help prevent future outbreaks of the virus that infect wildlife people.

WHO team investigates the origin of COVID-19 in China a year later-Technology News, Firstpost

Source link WHO team investigates the origin of COVID-19 in China a year later-Technology News, Firstpost

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