Oxford experts: COVID traced to Spain before China outbreak

Photos courtesy of Philadelphia Inquirer and IUCN

According to experts from one of the best Universities in the World, the Oxford University, that the pandemic coronavirus have started elsewhere in the world before it had spreaded out in Wuhan, China.

In an interview with the experts by a news website The Telegraph, last July 3, Chinese officials and experts have insisted that any investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic should not be confined to China, but instead pointing to Spain as an alternative source.

However, the statements appear to be an attempt to dampen expectations ahead of a World Health Organization “scoping mission” to the country next week, which aims to establish a platform to trace the emergence of Sars-Cov-2. 

"Knowing the source of the virus is very, very important. We can fight the virus better when we know everything about the virus, including how it started.” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the WHO.

In an article written by the Tribune, This as scientists last week reported that traces of the COVID-19 virus had been detected in wastewater in Spain wayback in March 2019 or nine months before its outbreak in China.

A professor at Oxford, Dr. Tom Jefferson,  explained that the virus may have stayed dormant across the world and that it went severely malignant when the right environmental conditions were achieved.

Apart from Spain, traces of the virus were also detected in sewage samples in Milan and Turin in Italy by mid-December, weeks before the first case was detected in China.

And in November, traces of COVID-19 were also found in Brazil. The silver lining in viruses lying dormant is that they could also vanish as quickly, said Jefferson.

“Where did Sars 1 go? It’s just disappeared. So we have to think about these things. We need to start researching the ecology of the virus, understanding how it originates and mutates,” Jefferson pointed out.

“I think the virus was already here, here meaning everywhere. We may be seeing a dormant virus that has been activated by environmental conditions,” Prof. Jefferson added.

The Professor also mentioned a case in the Falkland Islands in early February which remains a mystery as to where it came from.

“There was a cruise ship that went from South Georgia to Buenos Aires, and the passengers were screened and then on day eight, when they started sailing towards the Weddell Sea, they got the first case. Was it in prepared food that was defrosted and activated?” he added.

Professor Jefferson said, “Strange things like this happened with Spanish Flu. In 1918 around 30 percent of the population of Western Samoa died of Spanish Flu, and they hadn’t had any communication with the outside world.”

“only be that these agents don’t come or go anywhere. They are always here and something ignites them, maybe human density or environmental conditions, and this is what we should be looking for.”  He also added as a possible explanation.

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