Confused by Finding the Origin of Corona from Raccoons in the Market, So Isn’t it because of a Leaking Lab?


The shock of the researchers’ findings said that there was a possibility that the Corona virus originated from raccoon dogs which then spread to humans in the Wuhan market. So what about the suspected COVID-19 originating from a laboratory leak in Wuhan?

“Of course, this is not direct evidence,” said Leo Poon, a virologist at the University of Hong Kong quoted from Nature, Thursday (23/3/2023).

“But this is the best we can get right now, because all the animals have been removed from the market and we don’t have animal swabs,” he continued.

On Thursday (16/3), The Atlantic first reported the results of the analysis. Referring to Zenodo’s publication, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, the findings are believed to pave the way for follow-up studies such as investigations of the origin of animals in markets.

The researchers are specifically looking for evidence of mammals that could be intermediate hosts for the virus. They identified mitochondrial DNA sequences for five wild species including the raccoon dog, Malayan porcupine, amur porcupine, masked palm civet and old bamboo rat. Of these animals, it was found that the most prominent was the mitochondrial DNA from the raccoon dog.

Research has also shown that raccoon dogs are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and can spread the infection to other raccoon dogs without showing obvious signs of illness. Raccoon dogs and masked palm civets were also found to be infected with a virus nearly identical to that of the cause of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) which caused an outbreak in humans in 2003.

Not from the Bat?

Previously, there was also a narrative that the Corona virus originated from bats. Indeed, studies suggest that the ancestor of SARS-CoV-2 may have come from bats. However, transmission from bats to humans is still unclear.

Scientists suspect an intermediate host role is involved. However, they have not been able to find solid evidence, which has led to speculation that the virus leaked either intentionally or accidentally from a laboratory in Wuhan.

According to the researchers, this latest study does not confirm whether the raccoon was actually infected with the virus. But with the existing findings, the stronger the hypothesis that the pandemic originated from animals on the market.

“These data do not provide a definitive answer to the question of how the pandemic started,” said World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“But every piece of data is important to get us closer to that answer,” he said further.

Watch Video “WHO Denies Stopping Search for Origins of Covid-19