Almost everything we thought we knew about the first outbreak of Covid-19 could be wrong, if a team of scientists led by the University of Cambridge turns out to be correct
Everything we thought we knew about the beginnings of the coronavirus pandemic could be wrong.
A bombshell report by scientists from the University of Cambridge has cast doubt on previous beliefs about when and where Covid-19 first broke out.
While coronavirus was previously believed to have originated in a wet market in Wuhan at the end of last year, new research suggests it may have actually came from further south – and began spreading among humans as early as September 2019.
The team of researchers has published its extraordinary findings – which have yet to be peer-reviewed – in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, outlining a "network" of infections that has thrown existing knowledge into doubt.
"The virus may have mutated into its final 'human-efficient' form months ago, but stayed inside a bat or other animal or even human for several months without infecting other individuals," University of Cambridge geneticist Peter Forster said on Thursday.
"Then, it started infecting and spreading among humans between September 13 and December 7, generating the network we present in [the journal] Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [PNAS]."