As the world attempts to battle the worst pandemic it has faced in 100 years, the question many people are asking is: Where did COVID-19 come from?
The truth is that there is no definitive answer, however many have pointed to a food market in Wuhan, China. Wet markets, as they are known, exist globally. These markets sell exotic and wild animals in open-air environments and are particularly popular in China, where the food is seen as cheaper, fresher and may contain special healing benefits.
How does this relate to the deadly coronavirus COVID-19?
Viruses that jump from animals to humans become far more dangerous because these diseases have not built up immunity in humans, and we have no vaccine or medication available to fight it.
Viruses that jump from one animal to another animal and then to a human being even more deadly.
This is what can happen in these wet markets, where animals are stored in close proximity, with little sanitation or health procedures.
Ebola likely came from bats, swine flu from pigs, bird flu from birds and the SARS virus from 2003 also came from animals. And although we don’t know how many viruses came from wet markets, it is highly likely according to scientists that these markets have caused serious outbreaks in the past, and may have caused the most recent pandemic in December last year.
Despite this, instead of closing down these wet markets after the SARS outbreak 20 years ago, or even after the COVID-19 epidemic currently engulfing the world, China has started to reopen its wet markets in Wuhan after lockdown, the ground zero of the virus.
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