Do you know Wuhan

WHO researchers suspect to have found the origin of SARS-CoV-2

Wuhan. According to experts from the World Health Organization (WHO), all findings about the origin of SARS-CoV-2 point to similar viruses in bats. After completing the examinations carried out jointly with Chinese experts in the metropolis of Wuhan in central China, the head of the team, Dr. Peter Ben Embarek, on Tuesday, the "most likely way" of transmission to humans is from bats via another animal as an intermediate host. Further investigations into the exact route are necessary.

According to the experts, a laboratory accident as the cause is "extremely unlikely," as Embarek said of the speculations. Whether the virus could also have been spread via frozen products needs to be investigated more closely.

"Better understanding of the beginnings"

The investigations in Wuhan have not changed their picture of the outbreak of the pandemic dramatically, but there is now a better understanding of the beginnings, said Embarek. In Wuhan, infections with the new virus were first detected in December 2019. The pathogen was probably already circulating before.

The international experts who are looking for the origin of the pathogen on behalf of the WHO were in China for four weeks. After two weeks in quarantine, in which they had prepared their rounds and also conferred intensively with their Chinese colleagues via video, they visited several hospitals, institutes, laboratories and also the Huanan market in Wuhan, where the first recorded infections with the virus had occurred . But there were also infections in Wuhan that could not be associated with this market.

The investigations followed after a long tug-of-war with the Chinese side. The search for the origin of the pathogen is considered politically sensitive as China fears it will be denounced as the culprit for the pandemic. (dpa)