Sunday 12 December 2021

Mouse bite: supporting evidence that the Covid pandemic started in the Wuhan biolab

The world is still trying to figure out how the Covid pandemic started. Although China is trying to deflect blame by saying that it started in a country other than their own, it's clear that it started in China but did it start in the Wuhan biolab or in a wet market?

Mouse in biolab
Mouse in biolab. Photo: Pixabay.

More scientists now believe that the Wuhan biolab may have been the originating place of this devastating pandemic. It's looking more plausible for various reasons and recently, in particular, because a Taiwanese woman was twice bitten by a mouse that had been deliberately infected with the Delta variant of the Covid virus. 

She contracted the disease. It's clear that she got the disease from the mouse because the woman was double vaccinated and had not travelled abroad and there had been no domestic transmissions in Taiwan for more than a month. The only possible plausible route of infection were the mouse bites.

This establishes the possibility that mice that were used in the Wuhan biolab might have bitten a lab worker in the same way and the lab worker might have passed the disease to others when they left work to go home.

The Wuhan biolab I'm referring to is the Wuhan Institute of Virology. A Chinese public health expert at the Council on Foreign Relations think tank, Yangzhong Huang, said: "If the lab worker is confirmed to have been infected at her workplace, then this will add credibility to the lab leak theory."

The Wuhan Institute of Virology is situated on the outskirts of the central Chinese city, just a few miles from the wildlife market associated with several early cases of Covid-19. And we know that China's "bat woman", the expert on coronaviruses, Shi Zhengli, used mice to test the impact of modified bat viruses in "gain-of-function" experiments. She has vehemently and angrily denied the possibility.

The genetic adaptation of animal pathogens is frowned upon by some scientists because it's dangerous. People fear the escape of artificially created viruses, which might have happened as discussed.

American and British government investigations have concluded that the Wuhan lab leak theory is at least plausible. Of course, Beijing has reacted angrily to the suggestions.. They have blocked international investigations (which implies guilt I've got to say) and have pushed conspiracy theories that the virus started in Italy and certainly not in China.

It is known that viral infections transmitted to the public can originate in laboratory workers who acquired the infection during their work. It's happened before in laboratories in Taiwan, Singapore and China in 2003 and 2004 during research into the SARS coronavirus.

Testing cats for Covid-19 in Texas. Photo: Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Testing cats for Covid-19 in Texas. Photo: Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Postscript: I would briefly like to touch on the issue as to whether domestic cats can get Covid. Some people ask Google search whether domestic cats can get Covid. That to me seems like a silly question because we know that Covid is a zoonotic disease. This means that it can transmit from animals to people and vice versa. We know that animals are getting Covid from people as it has happened in zoos with a variety of animals including the big cats. 

And we know that some domestic cats, albeit very few, have caught Covid from their human caregivers. But it's a given that family pets can get the disease. The question should not be asked. The whole point of this disease is that it jumps from people to animals and as the human is a human-animal we are as capable of transmitting the disease to other animals, and other humans, as animals are.

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