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transmission to humans by an intermediate animal is a “probable” hypothesis


The joint study by WHO and Chinese experts concluded that transmission of the Covid-19 virus to humans from an intermediate animal is a “likely to very likely” hypothesis, while a laboratory incident remains ” extremely unlikely “.

According to the final version of the report, of which AFP obtained a copy on Monday, specialists ruled that “given the literature on the role of farm animals as intermediate hosts for emerging diseases, there is a need to carry out other surveys including a greater geographic extent “in China and elsewhere.

The bat as a reservoir animal?

This report by specialists, who according to some did not have enough latitude to work freely during their four-week stay in Wuhan, confirms the first conclusions of the experts that they presented on February 9 in this Chinese city where appeared the virus.

Experts favor the generally accepted theory of the natural transmission of the virus from a reservoir animal – probably the bat – to humans, through another animal that has not yet been identified.

However, direct transmission of the virus via the reservoir animal is considered “possible to probable”, by the report. Experts have also not ruled out that of transmission by frozen meat – a path favored by Beijing – judging that this scenario is “possible”.

The report recommends continuing studies on the basis of these three hypotheses, but it brushes aside the possibility that the virus was transmitted to humans due to a laboratory accident.

A complicated mission to set up

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The administration of former US President Donald Trump accused the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which conducts research on very dangerous pathogens, of having let the coronavirus escape, voluntarily or not. In their report, the experts indicate not to have studied the case of a voluntary leak, and judge “extremely improbable” an accident.

The mission on the origins of the transmission of the virus to humans, deemed extremely important in trying to better fight a possible next epidemic, has struggled to set up, China seeming very reluctant to let these global specialists come. from various disciplines such as epidemiology but also zoology.

In its findings, the report states that studies of the supply chain of the Huanan market (and other markets in Wuhan) failed to find “evidence of the presence of infected animals, but the supply chain analysis provided information “useful for targeted monitoring studies, especially in neighboring regions. Experts also call for “not to neglect products of animal origin from regions outside Southeast Asia”. And to conclude: “The surveys must be designed (…) in larger areas and in a greater number of countries”.



Source site www.europe1.fr

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