Coronavirus (545) Global health experts advise WHO to identify animal source of COVID-19 virus

4 May, 2020

Extract and a comment from me below.

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International experts have advised the World Health Organization (WHO) to work to identify the animal origins of the virus behind the COVID-19 pandemic and its transmission to humans, the UN agency said on Friday.

The recommendation was among the outcomes of the latest meeting of the Emergency Committee on the new disease, established under global health regulations.

“We accept the committee’s advice that WHO works to identify the animal source of the virus through international scientific and collaborative missions, in collaboration with the World Organisation for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations”, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during his regular virtual press conference from Geneva.

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Comment (Neil PW): It is thought that a market in Wuhan selling wild animals may have been the source of the pandemic. The most widely discussed theory is that the virus crossed from bats to humans via an intermediate host, possibly the pangolin, an animal used in Chinese medicine. The virus therefore appears to be the result of human exploitation of animals. This BBC news item describes how 'Exploiting nature drives outbreaks of new diseases'.

Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in collaboration with WHO. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org