The Covid-19 pandemic has had a remarkable global impact.
Since it first emerged in 2019, it has spread to over 200 countries and regions, resulting in disrupted lives and economic loss among many other consequences. As the infection and mortality rates continue to climb, the entire world is searching for answers during these difficult times. One of the most commonly asked questions is; where exactly did Covid-19 come from?
The Origins of Covid-19
Covid-19 is a viral infection that is caused by a new strain of the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). This strain of Coronavirus is 99.97% identical to another Coronavirus strain seen in bats, suggesting its origin in an animal domain.
There is also an ongoing debate about the virus being a product of a lab accident. However, available evidence does not support this theory, and there are no indications that this is the case. In February 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) conducted a joint mission with Chinese scientists to investigate the origins of the virus. The report concluded that the Covid-19 virus most likely jumped from animals to humans and was neither created in a laboratory nor intentionally released.
The Origin of the Coronavirus
Scientists have discovered that the coronavirus is a part of the large family of Coronaviruses, and has a variety of different types. This family includes seven types of human-associated Coronaviruses, which includes the Covid-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2). The other six are commonly referred to as “common colds.”
Additionally, this family is found in various species of bats and birds, which are thought to be the original carriers of the virus, possibly transferring to humans through contact with an infected animal.
The Outbreak at Wuhan’s “Wet” Market
The source of original outbreak of Covid-19 has not yet been determined, however, the most likely source was a “wet” market in Wuhan, China. A wet market is a local place where food, including live and slaughtered animals for sale, as well as fresh, uncooked foods. The strain of the virus that caused Covid-19 was historically seen in bats, and this is where the virus first infected humans.
This theory is strengthened by the fact that the infection and mortality rates in Wuhan, China are the highest in the world, indicating the high possibility of the virus originating from this location.
Covid-19’s Role On Humans
Since its emergence, the virus has quickly adapted to the human body, posing a new threat to the world. Upon infecting a human, the virus replicates using the cells of our body and can cause a range of illnesses, including the deadly and severe Covid-19 infection.
The virus enters the system via the nose and mouth, and can prove to be fatal for those with pre-existing health conditions, most notably the young, elderly and immunocompromised. Moreover, a variety of other health problems have also been associated with Covid-19, such as lung injuries and an array of neurological complications.
Precautions Taken by Governments and Health Organisations
As the virus spread across the world, governments and global health organisations developed precautionary policies and measures to slow down the rate at which the virus spread and provide those affected with necessary treatments.
The World Health Organization (WHO), being the most prominent body in this regard, immediately introduced a global response coordinated with partner organisations, countries, and communities. Some of the measures recommended by the WHO were:
• Social distancing
• Wearing face masks
• International standards of hygiene
• Avoiding large gatherings
• Stricter travel regulations
These policies have been successfully implemented in many countries, which has helped to reduce the infection rate and the impact of the pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic has shaken the world and continues to be a threat, as there is yet still much to be known about it. Although we still have many questions, one thing that is certain is that the virus appears to have originated from animals and was transmitted to humans through contact at the wet market in Wuhan, China. Since its outbreak, the WHO, along with governments and health organizations, have developed precautionary policies and measures to reduce the spread of the virus. It is crucial that we continue to follow these steps to ensure greater safety.