Woman seafood seller in Huanan market earliest known case of COVID: Study
- A study published in the journal Science claims to have found the earliest known case of COVID-19
- The study claims it was a woman seafood seller in Huanan market was the earliest known case
- Initially, an accountant in Wuhan was assessed to be the first case of COVID-19
A woman seafood seller in China’s now infamous Huanan market may be the earliest known case of COVID-19 infection. The novel coronavirus, which shut down most of the world for the better half of a year, attacked the woman along with several other market workers around December 11, 2019. This widely sought-after nugget about the origin of the novel coronavirus was published in the journal Science.
The origin of the coronavirus has been steeped in mystery. There was even confusion about the first case. Initially, it was an accountant for Wuhan who was widely thought to be the first person with COVID-19. However, the recent study found that the accountant developed symptoms nearly a week after some people from the Huanan market developed them.
The study, spearheaded by Michael Worobey, head of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona in Tucson and the author of the study, concluded that the accountant in question lived 30 kilometers away from the Huanan market and had no connection to it and was probably infected due to community transmission.
The study further claimed that the Huanan market was not only the place where Sars-Cov-2 virus was amplified into a super-spreading event but also the source of the initial outbreak. “Cases had no epidemiological link to the market (didn’t work there or visit) nonetheless are concentrated heavily around the market. This is a clear signature that community transmission started at or very near the market and only later spread widely around Wuhan,” Worobey tweeted.
The actual genesis of the Sars-Cov-2 virus still remains a mystery. Scientists are largely divided along two schools of thought. One perspective claims a laboratory escape of the virus and another indicates a spillover from animals. However, no live mammals at the Hunan market or any other live-animal market in Wuhan were screened for SARS-Cov-2.