Has the origin of Covid-19 finally been found two years after the pandemic broke out? Searchers have issued an article in scientific magazine Science: they claim the patient zero is a vendor from Wuhan animal market. Virologist Michael Worobey – one of the main experts in the tracking of the virus evolution – considers this discovery enables to get closer to the animal theory: coronavirus could have beef facilitated by animal-to-human contact.
He told New York Times his recent work “was sound and that the first known case of Covid was most likely a seafood vendor”.
Yet, Science article has sparked a debate: the WHO stated in a report a few days before the first case of Covid-19 was rather a man who had never been to this famous market, and who fell sick from December 8, 2019. A theory vehemently denied by Michael Worobey and his colleagues.
“In this city of 11 million people, half of the early cases are linked to a place that’s the size of a soccer field. It becomes very difficult to explain that pattern if the outbreak didn’t start at the market”, he argues.
Yet, doubts remain. Other scientists think the patient zero is still unknown and he is the one who have contaminated the market vendor. A hypothesis that could be corroborated by Pr. Worobey’s work suggesting the first infection occurred in November 2019, a few weeks before the vendor started to be sick. The virus might have broken out somewhere else but spread quickly because of the market, a highly visited place.
The genuine origin of coronavirus remains a mystery.