Many theories have arisen on the coronavirus pandemic's origin since China first reported about it in December 2019. Some believe that it was man-made that has accidentally escaped the laboratory in China. But genetic evidence confirmed that it originated in bats before spreading to humans, however, the exact location of the transmission is unknown.
Additionally, Chinese authorities initially said that the first cases of the virus emerged at the local seafood market. But a new investigation on the animals in the wet market by the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ruled that out.
They took samples of the animals in the market and found none of them had coronavirus. On the other hand, authorities said that the market might have been the site of a superspreader event.
The Wet Market is a Victim of the Virus
According to the Daily Mail, the negative test results on the animals in the wet market has led to a new theory that someone who visited the market had already contracted COVID-19 and became a superspreader event infecting other people.
"It turns out, the wet market was a victim of the virus," said the Chinese CDC.
Most of the original 41 cases reported to the World Health Organization were linked to the wet market which led it to be shut down on January 1. But on April 14, the majority of the 36,000 shops have already reopened.
Reports are saying that coronavirus was likely circulating Wuhan long before those first 41 cases were recorded; especially when 13 of the first cases have no link to the wet market. Research in January revealed that the first patient confirmed to have the coronavirus was likely exposed as early as December 1, only showing symptoms by December 8.
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COVID-19 Patient Zero
Authorities believe that the 'patient zero' might have contracted the virus in Wuhan, although this theory was also not yet confirmed. According to them, the patient may have been a 55-year-old man from Hubei province infected on November 17.
This means that the virus has likely been spreading undetected in the human population around Wuhan for weeks before the 'super spreader event' at the Wuhan market.
Colin Carlson, a zoologist from Georgetown University, told LiveScience that the wet market was the site where one sick person has infected a large number of others. To know for sure exactly how the virus was transmitted from an animal to humans would probably take years to find out.
The idea that the market is the origin of the virus had become a useful narrative, but the evidence has not been particularly conclusive, Carlson added. It might have come from the fact that wet markets sell exotic animals that could be the link between bats and humans.
The fact that none of the animals in the market have tested positive led to the superspreader event. But it would not be the only one in the world as the virus continues to progress and spread across the globe.