SARS-Cov-2 Initial Origin

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To understand Covid-19 you have to start from the beginning. so here is a description of some original data. Please note that I am only going to describe the science with no political connotations or agenda. It is simply intended to inform and educate at a deeper level than the general media. so please do not make any political comments on this platform.

On December 26, 2019, a 41 year old man presented to the hospital in Central Wuhan, China with complaint of fever, shortness of breath, unproductive cough and chest tightness for 6 days. His chest x-ray and CT scan were both remarkable for presence of what was described as ground glass abnormality and showed severe bilateral pneumonia. His oxygen levels were also low. The patient had been generally healthy with no other major medical problems and was tested for all potential suspicious agents such as influenza and chlamydia and mycoplasma. The patient worked at a local indoor seafood market which sold fish and shellfish, and other live animals such as hedgehogs, snakes, birds, and badgers and some animal carcasses but interestingly no bats.

We don’t know the outcome of this man but what we do know is that his symptoms and rapid deterioration was concerning and lead his physicians to suspect a virus perhaps not previously identified. Samples of his sputum were analyzed and a new viral form emerged. The virus was isolated and its genome was sequenced. It was a new virus never seen before in the human body. Where was it coming from? The genome and clinical presentation was similar but not identical to a previously identified virus in 2002 called the SARS virus. The origin of SARS had been traced to a type of bat. It caused illness in 8000 people with close to 800 deaths before it disappeared in 2003.

Another similar virus called the MERS virus had originated in the middle east. It too caused severe respiratory symptoms and was highly lethal killing a third of it’s victims but it was eventually reasonably contained. And so the quest began to identify the source of this virus in the hope that it could be contained if the transmission was from ingestion of the contaminated meat of the animal. Finally, a breakthrough revealed that the virus was very similar to a bat coronavirus called SL-CoVZC45 but the genome sequence had enough dissimilarities that the origin could not be confirmed with certainty. Furthermore, the type of bat which housed this coronavirus had been identified in Zhoushan, Eastern China, a region 600 miles from Wuhan.

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