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NO PROOF FROM U.S. ON WUHAN LAB CLAIMS

Why in news?

The World Health Organization said on 4th May that Washington had provided no evidence to support “speculative” claims by the U.S. president that COVID-19 originated in a Chinese lab.

Existing Zoonotic theory, and other ideas

  • Scientists believe the killer virus jumped from animals to humans, emerging in China late 2019, possibly from a market in Wuhan selling exotic animals for meat.
  • But U.S. President Donald Trump, increasingly critical of China’s management of the first outbreak, claims to have proof it started in a Wuhan laboratory.

What are zoonoses?

  • A zoonosis is any disease or infection that is naturally transmissible from vertebrate animals to humans.
  • The issue of pathogens crossing species to cause diseases is not a new concept. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), 60% of all infectious diseases in humans are zoonotic, and about 75% of all emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic in nature.
  • Emerging pathogens are more likely to be viruses, than any other kind — bacteria, parasites, fungi — and are more likely to have a broad host range.
  • All SARS-CoV-2 genomes sequenced so far have the genomic features described, and are thus derived from a common ancestor that had them too.
  • As well as being a public health problem, many of the major zoonotic diseases prevent the efficient production of food of animal origin and create obstacles to international trade in animal products.

-Source: The Hindu

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