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Fake News: Coronavirus was Brought by US

Author: Mr Right

2020-03-23 18:33

Hundreds of thousands of comments on Chinese social media echoing the conspiracy theories, that the coronavirus was brought by US Army.


On February 27, 2020, the celebrated doctor Zhong Nanshan, who was instrumental in the 2003 handling of the SARS crisis and has been featured as one of the China’s top infectious disease specialists during, stated that the virus “may not have originated in China.”


Subsequently, Chinese diplomats also made it to the headlines stating that US army might have brought the epidemic to Wuhan, China, where the outbreak began. Soon a healthcare issue turned to be a diplomatic issue.


Another example, many posts in social media also suggested the virus was made by scientists and escaped from a lab in Wuhan.


During the Covid-19 outbreak in the last few months, lots of fake news surrounding the virus – how it was originated, how people reacted, how the virus got escalated, and so on –  were spreading around social media quickly.


Though most educated people didn’t believe those news, the fake news got a lot of traction especially when it is used for propaganda.


So the true is…….


Scientists assume that the pathogen jumped to people from an animal, as has been seen with other coronaviruses. For example, the virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is thought to have jumped to humans from civets in 2002 in China. Dozens of people infected early in the current outbreak worked in a live-animal market in Wuhan, China, where the outbreak started.


Researchers at the South China Agricultural University in Guangzhou suggested pangolins as the animal source at a press conference on 7 February. The researchers said they had found a coronavirus in smuggled pangolins that was a 99% genetic match to the virus circulating in people. (source: “Mystery deepens over animal source of coronavirus”, Feb 26,2020, http://www.nature.com)


Other research groups came up with two possible scenarios for the origin of Covid-19. One scenario follows the origin stories for a few other recent coronaviruses that have wreaked havoc in human populations, similar to the way how SARS was originated. A group of researchers suggest that animal was a bat, which transmitted the virus to another intermediate animal (possibly a pangolin, some scientists have said) that brought the virus to humans.


In that possible scenario, the genetic features that make the new coronavirus so effective at infecting human cells (its pathogenic powers) would have been in place before hopping to humans.


In the other scenario, those pathogenic features would have evolved only after the virus jumped from its animal host to humans. Some coronaviruses that originated in pangolins have a "hook structure" (that receptor binding domain) similar to that of Covid-19. In that way, a pangolin either directly or indirectly passed its virus onto a human host. Then, once inside a human host, the virus could have evolved to have its other stealth feature — the cleavage site that lets it easily break into human cells. Once it developed that capacity, the researchers said, the coronavirus would be even more capable of spreading between people.  (Source: “The coronavirus did not escape from a lab. Here's how we know”, March 21, 2020, http://www.lifescience.com)





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