Wildlife species sold in wet markets in China were linked to the emergence of Covid-19 and the severe acute respiratory syndrome, or Sars.
Now a comprehensive survey of viral pathogens has found they harbor a range of diseases threatening humans and other animals, Bloomberg reported. According to The Straits Times, a study of over a dozen species of game animals traded, sold and eaten as exotic food in China found 71 mammalian viruses. This number included 18 which were deemed “potentially high risk” to both people and domestic animals.” This study highlights exactly why the wildlife trade and live animal markets are a pandemic accident waiting to happen,” said co-author Edward Holmes, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Sydney.
“This paper also shows that humans regularly transmit their viruses to other animals. There’s clearly two-way virus traffic.
“The research which was released on Friday showed cat-like carnivores Civets carried the most concerning microbes. The research was supported by the National Key Research and Development Programme of China as well as others. Professor Holmes said, “A further species jump from civets into humans could easily start a major outbreak.
The first case of the novel coronavirus was reported in Wuhan back in December 2019, and the mainstream theory has since been that the virus had natural origins around the city, perhaps in the ‘wet market’. Scientists have not yet determined the origins of Sars-CoV-2..
Studies identifying closely-related coronaviruses, including in bats dwelling in limestone caves in northern Laos and in Cambodia, support the latter hypothesis, especially since live animals susceptible to the infection were known to be sold in markets in Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the earliest Covid-19 cases were detected.