The coronavirus pandemic was a major shock for the entire world and it quickly spread across continents. While it was first said to have originated in Wuhan, China, there were some who doubted this.
Conspiracy theorists argued that it might have been deliberately crafted or that the virus might have started off in another country.
But, virologist Angela Rasmussen has shut those theories down, after she and 17 co-authors published their latest findings in Science magazine.
“The research heavily implies [that the Huanan market was the origin of the pandemic],” she confirmed in an interview with The Guardian.
“We are not able to pinpoint the exact spillover event, the exact animal from which the virus crossed into humans, but there’s really no other explanation for what our analysis shows.
“And that is that there weren’t any COVID-19 cases in Wuhan or anywhere else prior to these early cases that we looked at, which are all strongly associated with the market.
“Nobody disputes that there were a lot of early cases associated with the market.
“We did a lot of detective work to see if there was a geographical relationship between those early cases.
“Their geospatial coordinates had been available but nobody had conducted that kind of analysis before.
“Importantly, when we excluded the early cases that had a direct link with the market – meaning the patient had been there – the association with the market became even stronger.
“That’s consistent with the virus acquiring the capacity for human-to-human transmission at the market, so that people who hadn’t been there started catching it from those who had. It radiated out like ripples on a pond.”
Rasmussen also criticised the conspiracy theorists who spread misinformation on Twitter.
“This origins discussion is the worst of the bad things about Twitter, which incentivises abusive behaviour,” she added.