A study has emerged that explains how the Covid 19 pandemic could have been prevented. It explains that there was a possibility that it would not have become a global problem if circumstances were different. Researchers are using a new genetic dating study to track the progress of the virus and when it could have escalated.
Studies Show That The Pandemic Almost Didn’t Happen
Those who worked on the study noted that the virus was first seen in China. However, their study indicates that the first infection did not occur till October of 2019. The models used in the genetic study imply that if certain events hadn’t occurred, the whole world would not be affected by the virus. There is even a chance that the virus would be so under the radar that it wouldn’t even have attracted the rest of the world’s notice.
Scientists and experts explain that unlucky conditions and the unfavorable environment of the Huanan seafood market located in Wuhan led to the disintegration of health on a global scale. The packed conditions of the seafood market were the reason for such a rapid outbreak and spread of the virus as per the report in the Science journal.
Michael Worobey, a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona who worked on the study stated that “It was a perfect storm — we know now that it had to catch a lucky break or two to firmly become established.”
He goes on to explain that, “If things had been just a tiny bit different, if that first person who brought that into the Huanan market had decided to not go that day, or even was too ill to go and just stayed at home, that or other early super-spreading events might not have occurred. We may never have even known about it.”
The research team used molecular dating to build their research model. The technique involves the use of the rage of current mutations to find the exact time the virus emerged. The study also includes computer models to find how the virus could have spread and what conditions caused it to spread.
Another researcher Joel Wertheim who is an associate professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine gave his opinion on the matter, “Our study was designed to answer the question of how long could SARS-CoV-2 have circulated in China before it was discovered.”
“To answer this question, we combined three important pieces of information: a detailed understanding of how SARS-CoV-2 spread in Wuhan before the lockdown, the genetic diversity of the virus in China and reports of the earliest cases of COVID-19 in China. By combining these disparate lines of evidence, we were able to put an upper limit of mid-October 2019 for when SARS-CoV-2 started circulating in Hubei province.”
The research implies that the virus could not have been spread before October 2019. This throws some light on the confusion regarding where the virus originated and when it began infecting others across the world. Reports were being circulated in Italy and other countries in Europe that there were Coronavirus cases seen there before October 2019. However, the study shows that a very small number of people (around 12) were actually infected between October to December.
“Given that, it’s hard to reconcile these low levels of virus in China with claims of infections in Europe and the U.S. at the same time,” Wertheim declared in a statement. “I am quite skeptical of claims of COVID-19 outside China at that time.” The study states that “Our results also refute claims of large numbers of patients requiring hospitalization due to COVID-19 in Hubei province prior to December 2019,”