A World Health Organization-led team investigating the origins of COVID-19 determined Tuesday that it’s “extremely unlikely” the virus leaked from a Chinese lab.
The team that visited the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak first emerged at a seafood market in late 2019, said more work is needed to identify the source of the novel virus that has killed 2.3 million people worldwide.
“Our initial findings suggest that the introduction through an intermediary host species is the most likely pathway and one that will require more studies and more specific targeted research,” WHO food safety and animal diseases expert Peter Ben Embarek said. “However, the findings suggest that the laboratory incidents hypothesis is extremely unlikely to explain the introduction of the virus to the human population,” he added.
Embarek said that the possibility that the virus was manufactured in a lab, such as the Wuhan Institute of Virology, would not be encouraged as an avenue for further study.
Bats were a probable source of transmission, but it’s unlikely they were in Wuhan, Embarek said.
He said investigators are also looking at the possibility that the virus was transmitted through the sale of frozen animal products. Read Full Article >