The COVID-19 pandemic has almost occurred, a new study suggests. Researchers trying to understand when and how the virus first spread in China found that the first person became infected earlier than October 2019.
But they also found an interesting discovery – COVID-19 almost did not act as a pandemic virus. It was precisely because of the conditions at the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan that the virus became a pandemic worldwide, the researchers found in the journal Science.
The virus just got lucky, the researchers said. To reach this conclusion, the team used molecular dates, using the number of current-going molecules to understand how long the virus had been around.
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In addition, they used computer models to find out when and how the virus spread. They found that October 2019 was the peak of the first virus, and that the virus could not have been circulating before then.
Reports from European countries said many people had been infected by October. But according to the findings published Thursday, only a dozen people were infected between October-December 2019.
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In addition, the origin of the virus was ruled out in the study, which states that the virus appeared in the Hubei region of China and not elsewhere. By 2019, a few minor issues around the world caused a global explosion.
More than 2.7 million people have died from the virus, and more than 122 million people have been caught worldwide, with the U.S. and Brazil still the worst off countries.
Even then, the animal source of the virus has not yet been determined. But based on genetic evidence, scientists claim that bats are closely linked to the virus, adding that another species may have inherited the virus from bats and spread it to humans.