This article was last updated on March 18, 2023
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Coronavirus and raccoon dogs
According to recent genetic evidence, the origin of the coronavirus may be linked to the raccoon dog, a type of animal found in China. Samples taken by Chinese researchers at the beginning of the pandemic reportedly contain high levels of raccoon dog DNA, which makes the theory that the virus originated in animals more plausible.
China had previously denied that animal DNA was present in the virus samples, but recent data shared on a scientific database revealed otherwise. French researchers were able to download the data before it was removed and discovered many DNA traces of the raccoon dog, as well as other animal species.
While it is suspected that bats in the Wuhan market were the cause of the coronavirus, there are also many laboratories in Wuhan, including the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where animal viruses are studied. However, it is still unclear whether and in which animal species the virus originated. The WHO has criticized the withholding of this information, stating that public health and scientific interests should have taken precedence. This new evidence is seen as a significant next step in the research into the origin of the coronavirus.
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