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A Swiss epidemiologist says a virus similar to SARS-CoV-2 may have been found and hidden in 2013

A Swiss epidemiologist says a virus similar to SARS-CoV-2 may have been found and hidden in 2013

In an interview with Sputnik, an expert explained that 96% of a virus similar to SARS-CoV-2 may have been found in caves in 2013 and that this discovery was hidden.

A virus very similar to SARS-CoV-2, which is responsible for covid-19 diseaseIt could have been found in 2013, Didier Petit, an infectious disease specialist at the University Hospital in Geneva, Switzerland, and inventor of hand sanitizer, tells Sputnik.

“In 2013, in China, about 1,100 kilometers from Wuhan, in the caves that speleologists were exploring, [foi encontrado] 96% virus similar to SARS-CoV-2 It may have passed on to people who were working in that cave,” says the epidemiologist.

However, Pettit clarifies that it is not clear if this virus was identified in one of the laboratories in Wuhan, where the first outbreak of COVID-19 occurred.

©Reuters/Thomas Peter

Security personnel outside the Wuhan Institute of Virology watch during a visit by the World Health Organization team responsible for investigating the origins of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, February 3, 2021.

“Some of the publications and theses were submitted by people working in these laboratories [em Wuhan]. But these theses disappeared. Also, when you work on a new virus, you freeze [a amostra]. But it turns out the lab couldn’t find that sample. And that’s a little troubling,” Pettit comments.

This does not mean that the pathogen was Created industriallyBut this may mean that a virus very similar to SARS-CoV-2 was found in 2013 and this fact was hidden, says the expert.

“For a virus to become a pandemic, the virus has to circulate in nature for a period of time. So, this virus has probably been with us for much longer than we can imagine,” he said.

Pettit recalls that there is evidence that people in Europe and Asia contracted COVID-19 before the virus became known worldwide.

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According to a study by Italian scientists, the new coronavirus may have affected Europe before China. The results showed that COVID-19 has already been spreading in Italy since then October 2019Two months before Beijing warned the world of cases of pneumonia caused by an unknown disease.

Thus, the situation should be examined in detail to see how long it takes for the virus to turn into a pandemic, in order to respond quickly the next time a similar problem arises, Pettit says.

The World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus pandemic in March 2020. More than 4.2 million people worldwide have died from COVID-19 and nearly 200 million others have been infected, Second Johns Hopkins University, USA.