The coronavirus outbreak of 2019 and 2020 has been dominating the news for the past few months and will undoubtedly change the lives of millions of people around the world. However, with the growing number of COVID-2019 patients, it’s impossible not to wonder: where did the coronavirus come from?
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1. What is a coronavirus?
Although the current outbreak may be the first time most of us are hearing about coronaviruses, this group of viruses is actually far from new. There are numerous types of coronaviruses known to man. Most of them cause diseases in animals, but a few coronaviruses can also be transferred to humans.
The majority of coronaviruses that can affect humans actually display mild symptoms similar to a basic cold. However, in recent history, there have been three coronavirus outbreaks that have proven to be deadly for humans: the Middle East respiratory syndrome and the severe acute respiratory syndrome, which have killed over 1,500 people since 2002, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic that started in late 2019.
2. How did coronavirus start?
Although there are some conflicting theories regarding the start of the coronavirus epidemic, with some even suggesting the virus was developed in a laboratory and spread intentionally, the current opinion about the origin of the COVID-2019 outbreak looks like this.
The recent coronavirus outbreak has been traced to the seafood market located in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province, China. Despite its name, the seafood market does not just sell seafood. You can also find both alive and dead animals, including birds, snakes, rabbits, marmots, and bats, sold illegally.
Right now, it is believed that the first people to contract the virus were the sellers in the Wuhan seafood market. The disease then spread to the buyers, then the members of their families and people they contacted at work, and then developed into a global pandemic that affected 150 countries, hundreds of thousands of infected patients, and caused thousands of deaths.
Scientists continue working to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus and effective ways to combat the epidemic. However, one question remains unanswered: which animal started the global pandemic? Originally, scientists believed the virus behind COVID-19 was similar to the virus that affected snakes.
Then the opinions of the coronavirus researches changed. Some stated that the virus came from bats, while others found the 2019 form of coronavirus to be similar to the virus that affected pangolins. Researching the origins of the COVID-2019 pandemic is a work in progress and we will undoubtedly receive some important updates soon.
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