Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


(111,499 posts)
Wed Mar 25, 2020, 09:28 PM Mar 2020

How do we know that the coronavirus began in Wuhan, China?

Because that was the first casualty? Because that is where the outbreak began?

How do we know that a tourist did not carry it to China?

How do we know the person did not originate in the U.S.?

Can we really know for certain where it originated?

Someone can help us with more information?

16 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
How do we know that the coronavirus began in Wuhan, China? (Original Post) kentuck Mar 2020 OP
Didn't trump visit China? No telling what kinds of mutated organisms that MFer has. Hoyt Mar 2020 #1
We don't. A HERETIC I AM Mar 2020 #2
Yes we do GusBob Mar 2020 #16
We don't n/t malaise Mar 2020 #3
An educated guess, I think, based on similarity to SARS... blitzen Mar 2020 #4
Come on. Let's not criticize Trump for ignoring the experts then dem4decades Mar 2020 #5
Agreed customerserviceguy Mar 2020 #14
I'm going to guess intrepidity Mar 2020 #6
It's believed to have started in China's live-animal markets according to the NEJM TwilightZone Mar 2020 #7
Thanks for the info. kentuck Mar 2020 #9
Coincidence? OhZone Mar 2020 #8
Well, this project was allowed at UNC@Chapel Hill because it started before a fed shut-down order Backseat Driver Mar 2020 #13
dna was isolated there and cases Meowmee Mar 2020 #10
"pangolin (also called a scaly anteater)" kentuck Mar 2020 #11
Researched it back in January leighbythesea2 Mar 2020 #12
Here is the article that discusses the earliest known cases Meowmee Mar 2020 #15


(24,433 posts)
2. We don't.
Wed Mar 25, 2020, 09:30 PM
Mar 2020

No idea

We don't

We don't

No. At least not yet.

Sure, but only if they are allowed to do the science and not make Trumpy look bad.


(11,441 posts)
5. Come on. Let's not criticize Trump for ignoring the experts then
Wed Mar 25, 2020, 09:33 PM
Mar 2020

Criticize the experts. It started there


(25,848 posts)
7. It's believed to have started in China's live-animal markets according to the NEJM
Wed Mar 25, 2020, 09:34 PM
Mar 2020

"Chinese officials also reported that several of the first cluster of cases had ties to a live animal market where both seafood and other wildlife were sold as food. (The market has since been closed.) The market soon became the leading hypothesis for how the virus made the leap into humans, where it’s been able to spread efficiently ever since.

The genetic evidence and epidemiological information, according to three esteemed infectious disease researchers writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, “implicates a bat-origin virus infecting unidentified animal species sold in China’s live-animal markets.”"



(3,215 posts)
8. Coincidence?
Wed Mar 25, 2020, 09:45 PM
Mar 2020

A Federal Ban on Making Lethal Viruses Is Lifted - Dec. 19, 2017

Federal officials on Tuesday ended a moratorium imposed three years ago on funding research that alters germs to make them more lethal.

Such work can now proceed, said Dr. Francis S. Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health...

...Critics say these researchers risk creating a monster germ that could escape the lab and seed a pandemic...

The New York Times:

Backseat Driver

(4,473 posts)
13. Well, this project was allowed at UNC@Chapel Hill because it started before a fed shut-down order
Wed Mar 25, 2020, 11:28 PM
Mar 2020

and written up/published in this journal.

A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses
shows potential for human emergence

"Using the SARS-CoV reverse genetics system2,
we generated and characterized a chimeric virus expressing
the spike of bat coronavirus SHC014 in a mouse-adapted
SARS-CoV backbone. The results indicate that group 2b
viruses encoding the SHC014 spike in a wild-type backbone
can efficiently use multiple orthologs of the SARS receptor
human angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2), replicate
efficiently in primary human airway cells and achieve in vitro
titers equivalent to epidemic strains of SARS-CoV"

VOLUME 21 | NUMBER 12 | DECEMBER 2015 nature medicine - (Found thru my public library on-line)

Vineet D Menachery1, Boyd L Yount Jr1, Kari Debbink1,2, Sudhakar Agnihothram3, Lisa E Gralinski1,
Jessica A Plante1, Rachel L Graham1, Trevor Scobey1, Xing-Yi Ge4, Eric F Donaldson1, Scott H Randell5,6,
Antonio Lanzavecchia7, Wayne A Marasco8,9, Zhengli-Li Shi4 & Ralph Baric


(5,164 posts)
10. dna was isolated there and cases
Wed Mar 25, 2020, 10:12 PM
Mar 2020

of first spread cases have the same dna character as Wuhan. I think it is now maybe believed to have been brought to the Wuhan market through a person in Wuhan, but still maybe transmitted by the zoonosis from a pangolin, which probably originally got it from bats. If it had started here or elsewhere we would know from severe cases starting here first as well as a huge outbreak here with many more cases, which didn't happen. Before Wuhan was shut down, I think about 7 million people left around the time of the new year. I think there were cases in Nov already in Wuhan maybe, this is what my resident expert said anyway. I have not read as much about it yet but I found this article below. Also, remember that the Chinese government tried to cover the outbreak up when Dr. Li Wenliang tried to warn people about it, so who knows if we have all of the information yet.


"What researchers say: COVID-19 originated in China

The consensus among researchers studying the spread of the virus pinpoints COVID-19’s likely origin to a “wet market,” or live animal market, in Wuhan, China. Though experts have not ruled out the possibility that the pathogen could have been brought to the market by an already infected person, there is no evidence to suggest COVID-19 originated outside the country.

The origin theory for the virus is supplemented by preliminary research into the disease’s genome, as well as the origins of similar diseases. Researchers at the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Centre published the genome of COVID-19 two weeks after cases were reported in late December 2019. Gene sequencing analysis strongly suggests the virus originated in bats and was transferred to humans through a yet-unidentified intermediary species. In early February, Chinese researchers published work suggesting the intermediary species may have been the pangolin (also called a scaly anteater), though this work has not yet undergone a peer-reviewed study."


(1,201 posts)
12. Researched it back in January
Wed Mar 25, 2020, 10:37 PM
Mar 2020

I dont have article links tho. First they suspected bats to snakes, to the market where it moved to humans. Then they isolated enough dna to say pangolins were like a 99% match.

Mammal but scaly. Protected. But sought, like many animals, for a belief in medicinal qualities. Probably sold at the market illegally.
The markets unfortunately butcher live animals which is not a good practice.

Someone above said this was process for SARS too. It does seem like this could be eliminated by changing practices, policing the market environment.


(5,164 posts)
15. Here is the article that discusses the earliest known cases
Thu Mar 26, 2020, 03:15 AM
Mar 2020

The first being Nov 17 2019. This case and some others had no known connection to the market.


“A 55-year-old individual from Hubei province in China may have been the first person to have contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus spreading across the globe. That case dates back to Nov. 17, 2019, according to the South Morning China Post.

That's more than a month earlier than doctors noted cases in Wuhan, China, which is in Hubei province, at the end of December 2019. At the time, authorities suspected the virus stemmed from something sold at a wet market in the city. However, it's now clear that early in what is now a pandemic, some infected people had no connection to the market. That included one of the earliest cases from Dec. 1, 2019 in an individual who had no link to that seafood market, researchers reported Jan. 20 in the journal The Lancet.”

Latest Discussions»General Discussion»How do we know that the c...