Pugs likely started the COVID-19 pandemic, new genetic analysis shows

A new analysis of samples collected from a Wuhan fish market has for the first time suggested a concrete link between some of the wild animals illegally sold there and the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic. Atlantic reported on Thursday. Evidence points to raccoons as the likely culprit, according to an analysis that concluded the animals may have carried and spread the virus in late 2019. The study was carried out by an international team of virologists, genomicists and evolutionary scientists. according to biologists Atlantic-and while it’s not 100 percent definitive proof, it’s “a really strong indication that the animals in the market were infected,” said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist involved in the study. “There’s really no other explanation that makes any sense.” The paper’s report comes just days after an Economist/YouGov poll found that nearly two-thirds of Americans support the theory of a lab leak over a natural occurrence. Last month, it was announced that the US Department of Energy had concluded – albeit with “low confidence” – that the virus likely emerged from a laboratory. Intelligence services and experts elsewhere are divided.

Read it at Atlantic

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