Raccoon dog DNA from the Wuhan market supports the idea that COVID came from animals

Scientists found the strongest evidence yet that the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 jumped from animals to humans in a market in China, leading the first reported outbreak of COVID-19. The genetic data was uploaded to a public database and then immediately deleted at the request of the Chinese team who shared it first.

An international team of scientists reported that swabs taken in and around the stalls at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in early 2020 contained genetic sequences of SARS-CoV-2 mixed with the DNA of common raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides). The Atlantic Ocean (opens in new tab) first reported the findings on Friday (March 17). Raccoon dogs, a fox relative with dark spots around their eyes, are known to be able to carry and transmit the coronavirus. That reports the New York Times (opens in new tab).

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