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Where Did SARS-CoV-2 Come from?

It has been over a year since the start of the pandemic and folks are still debating the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

There is no evidence that the SARS-CoV-2 virus leaked or escaped from a lab.
There is no evidence that the SARS-CoV-2 virus leaked or escaped from a lab.

And of course, there are some folks who still think the virus came from a lab in China.

Where Did SARS-CoV-2 Come from?

Does it matter where the virus came from?

Of course!

“It’s important to understand the origin of the virus for three key reasons. One is if we find the source and if it’s still out there, we can prevent future reintroduction of the same virus into the human population. The second reason is that if we understand how this one jumped from bats origin into humans, we can perhaps prevent similar events in the future. So, to prevent future similar pandemics. And the third reason is that if we can find the virus, what it looked like before it jumped to the human population, we could potentially be in a better position to develop more efficient treatments and vaccines for this disease.”

COVID-19 – Origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus

If we don’t identify where these types of viruses come from, then it will be harder to prevent the next pandemic from ever starting.

“Following a month-long fact-finding mission in China, a World Health Organization (WHO) team investigating the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic concluded that the virus probably originated in bats and passed to people through an intermediate animal. But fundamental questions remain about when, where and how SARS-CoV-2 first infected people.”

Where did COVID come from? Five mysteries that remain

Unfortunately, in the case of SARS-CoV-2, there are still a lot of unanswered questions…

“Despite much noise to the contrary, there is no credible evidence that SARS-CoV-2 was ever known to virologists before it emerged in December 2019, and all indications suggest that, like SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, this virus probably evolved in a bat host until an unknown spillover event into humans occurred.”

On the origins of SARS-CoV-2

And several theories for the origin of SARS-CoV-2.

“As laboratory manipulation is highly unlikely for the origin of SARS-CoV-2, the current possibilities comprise either natural selection in animal host before zoonotic transfer or natural selection in humans following zoonotic transfer.”

Viewpoint: Origin of SARS-CoV-2

But that doesn’t mean you should buy into conspiracy theories that SARS-CoV-2 escaped or leaked out of a lab in Wuhan, China.

“It should be clarified that theories about a hypothetical man-made origin of SARS-CoV-2 have been thoroughly discredited by multiple coronavirus experts. SARS-CoV-2 contains neither the genetic fingerprints of any of the reverse genetics systems that have been used to engineer coronaviruses nor does it contain genetic sequences that would have been “forward engineered” from preexisting viruses, including the genetically closest sarbecoviruses. That is, SARS-CoV-2 is unlike any previously identified coronavirus from which it could have been engineered. Moreover, the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain, which has affinity for cells of various mammals, binds to human ACE2 receptors via a novel mechanism.

The Origin of COVID-19 and Why It Matters

Even if one of the people pushing the conspiracy theories is the former director of the CDC.

More on SARS-CoV-2

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