As scientists look to learn the origin of the novel corona virus, known as COVID-19, many theories over the past year and a half lead experts to believe it originated from bats traced to a seafood market in Wuhan China. Early into the pandemic some theories were circulating that the virus was developed in a lab and leaked; however, those theories were quickly “dismissed as a far-right conspiracy theory” according to an article in Newsweek. While it is still unclear on the origin of the corona virus, its vector on how it jumped to humans is also unclear.
Now with investigators searching for the origin of the SARS-CoV-2, they return to the possible site and origin, the Wuhan wet market. While many researchers once believed the origin of SARS-CoV-2 began at the Wuhan wet market, the Chinese Center for Disease Control now believe the wet market was not the origin of the jump, but a super spreader according to Business Insider. Several studies have found a link between bats and coronaviruses which may have also contributed to the theory that bats sold in Wuhan’s wet market may have caused the jump to humans. However, in a recent study done at Oxford University, bats may have a solid alibi; they were nowhere near Wuhan or its wet markets.
Coincidently, back in 2017 Oxford was conducting a study at Wuhan’s wet markets to research tick-borne illnesses. This research went from May 2017 to November 2019 and was published in the Nature-Scientific Reports. During their research it was discovered that neither bats nor pangolins, another animal suspected of being the origin of SARS-CoV-2, were nowhere near Wuhan or sold in any of its wet markets.
While it is still unclear where patient zero for the SARS-CoV-2 originated, early theories that it naturally evolved and jumped from animal to human at a Wuhan wet market is starting to look less plausible.