The new type of coronavirus most likely did not come out of the laboratory in China, but was around the world long before in a dormant state and appeared under a certain combination of natural factors. This opinion is shared by senior researcher at the Oxford centre for evidence-based medicine (CEBM) and visiting Professor at Newcastle University Tom Jefferson, quoted in The Daily Telegraph on Sunday.
According to the scientist, more and more evidence is coming from different countries that the virus was in different countries before it appeared in Asia. For example, Spanish epidemiologists last week reported that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is the causative agent of coronavirus infection, was detected in the sewage of Barcelona in March 2019, that is, nine months before the first cases of infection were reported in Chinese Wuhan. It was also said that traces of the coronavirus were found in wastewater samples from the Italian cities of Milan and Turin in December last year, and in wastewater from the Brazilian city of Florianopolis in November 2019.
“I think the virus was already here, and by “here” I mean ” everywhere.” It is possible that we are dealing with a dormant virus that was activated by environmental conditions, ” says Jefferson. – In early February, there was a case of [coronavirus infection] in the Falkland Islands. Where did he come from? On a cruise ship that sailed from South Georgia (a subantarctic island in the South Atlantic, part of the British overseas territory of South Georgia and the South sandwich Islands-approx. TASS) to Buenos Aires, passengers were observed, and on the eighth day, when they crossed the Weddell sea, the first case was recorded. Was the virus in the prepared food, and activated when defrosted? ” – asks the scientist.
Similar to the “Spanish flu”
Jefferson draws an analogy with the massive Spanish flu pandemic, which from 1918 to 1920 killed, according to various estimates, up to 100 million people, and infected almost every third person on the planet. “In the case of the Spanish flu, strange things happened. In 1918, about 30% of the population of Western Samoa died from Spanish flu, although they had no contact with the outside world,” the scientist said.
“The explanation for this may be that these pathogens do not come from anywhere and do not go anywhere. They are always there and sometimes something activates them, maybe the density of the world’s population or environmental conditions, and that is what we need to study, ” Jefferson said. He also believes that the virus can be transmitted not only from person to person, for example, when communicating or coughing, but also through sewage.
Versions of the virus occurrence
In may, US President Donald trump suggested that a new coronavirus could have left the Wuhan Institute of Virology due to incompetence of staff. Chinese foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on may 8 that the us President’s assumptions about the leak of a new coronavirus from a biological laboratory in the city of Wuhan due to a “stupid mistake in China” contradict reality.
The Sunday Times reported on Sunday that an outbreak of the disease caused by a coronavirus closest genetically to SARS-CoV-2 could have occurred in 2012 in China and led to the death of three people. According to a journalistic investigation published by the newspaper, samples of the potentially deadly virus were stored for more than six years at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China.
An outbreak caused by a new coronavirus was recorded in late 2019 in Central China, and it has spread to most countries. On March 11, the world health organization recognized it as a pandemic. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 11.2 million people have been infected with the coronavirus in the world, and about 530 thousand have died.