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Why is everyone suddenly talking about COVID-19 escaping from the lab?

aerial view of laboratory building

Wuhan Virology Institute
photo: A. Hector Retamal (Getty Images)

There is consensus among scientists studying viruses that causing COVID-19 Occurs naturally and was transmitted from animals to humans in late 2019 in or near Wuhan, China, but another hypothesis—fleeing a lab in that city—has been thrown around like a political football since the outbreak began. big and never treated more ignorance than last day.

Is there any new evidence that could leak in the lab? not true; Nothing has changed in science that will change the minds of experts. But scientists and governments have yet to determine the source of the coronavirus. Although there has been an investigation for almost a year and a half So technically it’s still an open question.

What makes this Wuhan lab leak theory? Back in the news?

Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal report Three researchers at the Wuhan lab were hospitalized in November 2019 (the virus was officially discovered in December). In other words, it could be a cold or the flu.

This new information is hardly a smoking gun. But it came out as the World Health Organization was preparing a further investigation into the origins of the virus.

then President Biden announce He has asked the intelligence community to report in 90 days what is known about the possible origin of the coronavirus. It is unlikely they will learn anything in the next 90 days that they have not learned in a year. half past But the issue is often political and is going that way. Democrats and the GOP are arguing U.S and China is threatening explore each other.

Can viruses be created in a laboratory and used as biological weapons?

This situation is extremely unlikely, according to experts. Genetic analyzes show that similar coronaviruses exist in the wild, in bats, in other parts of China No change certificate In the laboratory, you can Read more from geneticists about that theory here..

There’s also the problem of rationality: the whole idea of ​​a biological weapon—of any weapon—is that you have to use it against your enemy without it taking you out at the same time. Place bombs or place them strategically. Highly contagious viruses make bad weapons. Because there is no scope to be limited to the victims. And the corona virus has literally spread all over the world.

ok if it’s not a virus create In the lab, was it discovered naturally and escaped?

This is more than likely the idea that a virus was created or not. intended to let go, but very few experts thought about it. Likely, worth a look Although, because it is not impossible at all.

Part of the work at the Wuhan Laboratory is investigating several types of coronaviruses. including many species of bats to determine what makes certain species dangerous (Remember that SARS is another coronavirus that may have originated from bats. and is responsible for the terrifying but short-lived pandemic that began in Asia in 2003.)

For some background on SARS other corona virus and what is currently known about the possible natural origin of the virus that causes COVID-19 (officially known as SARS-CoV-2). This summary from Science News Well explained. In short, it is very difficult to trace the source of the virus. Because there are many viruses in animals. And finding the specific virus most associated with COVID-19 is a problem buried in the haystack. The origin of the SARS virus was not known until 2017, and the origin of the COVID-19 virus was unknown. It may take years to find out as well.

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